There are a lot of fancy terms thrown around these days. People will say; oh I’M a vegan. Or I am a 100% raw food eater. Maybe it’s the “caveman” diet. Where did this all come from?
It comes from humanity. And from frailty. It comes because we ALL want to be healthy. Those who have developed health issues in the past or present are desperately searching for the “correct” diet for them. This often leads them through a series of “gurus” or “dogmas” that lock them into very strict guidelines of what they should or should not be eating. For instance a “fruitarian” eats only fruit. A “low-carb” eater would say it is the worst thing in the world to do that. It would overload the body with carbs. So we can’t all be wrong CAN WE? We often forget that by eating a whole-foods based diet; we are eating better than 90% of the country. Let’s start focusing on the positives here shall we? Here are a few basic rules to remember so you don’t fall into the “diet trap.” First and foremost focus on lifestyle basics. I don’t even count this as a step. But remember to breathe fresh air, drink clean water, sleep enough, exercise enough, and deal with stress.
1. WHOLE FOODS: Cut out all the junk. The fried foods. The gluten and pasteurized dairy. The breads, pastas, cookies, ice creams, blah blah you get the point. The soda pop. Most of the stuff that comes in boxes or bags. Focus instead whole foods in the form of organic fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, proteins, etc. Variety is important here. Listening to your body is also important.
2. VARIETY: Make sure that your diet is well-varied. For instance, when eating fruit in the summertime; opt for cherries, berries, apples, grapes, whatever. Don’t eat JUST apples every day. Same thing goes for vegetables, meats, and fats. Mixing it up will give your body a wide array of nutrients.
3: QUALITY: This step is a little more advanced. Really take the time to source clean, preferably local foods. This would include going to farmers markets, farm stores, etc to get in-season veggies, fruits, and meats. This also means you will be eating foods that naturally grow in your area. Cooking methods really make a difference as well. Eating 2 or 3 raw or lightly cooked eggs is going to contain more nutrition than a half-dozen fried eggs. Eat your food lightly cooked when possible.
4: SUPERFOODS: Often we eat because we are craving vitamins and minerals; NOT calories. Maybe I want the B12 in a big steak so I want to eat the whole thing. Eating a small piece of liver may satisfy the craving without requiring to digest the steak. Liver, sardines, raw butter, coconut oil, beets, and wide varieties of fruits and veggies will help here.
5: LISTEN: Listen to your body. I don’t care what anybody says. I am not going to live off of fruits and berries in a cold winter when I have to be walking around outside a lot. Fruit does not grow in my area in the winter. The fruits I will stick with are cold weather fruits like apples and pears. This will be rounded out with an abundance of vegetables. Probably root vegetables harvested for fall and winter. I will also partake in some animal products. In the summer I noticed that I could get by on more fruit and less animal food. It also depends on your activity level. Those actively “healing” will usually require more protein. This includes healing internally or externally in the forms of building muscle or new tissue. Make sure whatever you are eating sits well, digests well, and makes you feel good. Eating a ton of raw salad in the middle of the winter just doesn’t make much sense. Remember that what your body wants today or this year may change dramatically. Maybe you move to Alaska and more animal food sounds right. Maybe you move to the tropics and fresh fruit sounds delicious. It is the nature of the world trying to balance itself out. LISTEN!
6: FOCUS: Focus more on your “other” inputs. Humans have at least 5 different ways to gather energy into our bodies. Food is actually one of the ones lower on the chain but we have been raised to think it is KING. So let’s see here. Oxygen and deep breathing would be the most important. Pure water would be next. THEN food. Sunlight and Grounding are very important also. Point being; when we start realizing that we can live off of things besides food, we stop needing it so much. Our lives stop revolving around it. Look at television. Look at radio. Our world REVOLVES around food. You don’t need to be sucked into that trap as well.
So in the end, everybody AND nobody is right. I believe that there are people eating only fruit that feel good and healthy because of it. I also believe there are people eating high quantities of animal products and doing well. It depends on the season. It depends on the body. It depends on the location. I think all of this “he said, she said” is stressing people out a lot. Our bodies have an innate intelligence. We just have been tricked with all the junk-food. Get rid of the junk and let your body sort itself back out. So what are YOU? Vegan? Fruitarian? Whole-foods eater? Carnivore? Maybe just Human?