Currently it seems like there is more information out there than ever on the topics of food and nutrition. This is by and large a great thing as it attracts awareness and creates a consciousness to what we are putting into our bodies. Although at times I get the feeling that there is just too much info out there and that it is becoming somewhat confusing.
There are experts preaching about Palaeolithic dieting being the only way forward, and on the other end of the spectrum there are people practicing and thriving on a strict raw vegans diet. There are also a myriad of other methods of eating in between. Many of these experts are putting this information out there as their way and that being the only way to eat. Within this overwhelming onslaught of info some really valid points are being raised and brought to people’s attention, such as eating real food, unprocessed and in its more natural form. We have also seen a notable rise in the awareness and importance of organic farming, which I believe is the most important foundation to have in a good diet and as a sustainable, clean food source.
However, I don’t believe that there is one diet to rule them all.
There are people that have a diet high in protein and animal fat who are extremely healthy and then there are people on the same diet who fall ill. The same applies for diets with little to no animal products. Some thrive on it, whilst others starve and experience many health implications.
“Bio-chemical individuality” is now a term being used widely among acclaimed health practitioners. Essentially, this is to say that we are all different and that we should all eat that way. There is no one meal plan that works for everyone. There are many factors that influence the meal structure that is going to work best for you.
Some things that come into play:
- Our ancestry: Whether closer to the equator, the more fresh fruit and veg we would have consumed, conversely colder climates would have forced our ancestors into having a diet higher in protein and fat. These factors remain in our genes.
- Our lifestyle
- How fast we burn (oxidise) our food
I believe that what we need to do is to look within and listen to what our bodies are actually asking of us (not craving) and in turn feel what works for you. A good way to discover what makes you feel good is to ask yourself the following set of questions after each meal:
- How is my energy?
- Am I satisfied?
- How long until I will be hungry again? How is my mood?
- How is my digestion?
Take a plate and place a mix of 50% plant based products and 50% animal based products on it. It should consist of a medium sized steak, piece of fish, cutlet of lamb etc. and the carb component may consist of green veggies and a salad or baked veggies. From here monitor how you feel after the meal for up to 3 hours afterwards. For the next meal, tweak the ratio to one side or the other until you have consumed a meal of primarily plant based foods and a meal of primarily animal based foods. Now, see which meal gives you the most energy and leaves you feeling awesome! This is a very easy way to get your basic type of diet down to a tee. This can change from day to day so be flexible with it, but most importantly FEEL what is working for you.
Tips for attaining vitality from food:
- If food is supposed to give us life, choose foods that are alive. Look for minimally processed food. Choose food in it’s most natural form and especially those that are in season.
- Shop organic. This is one of my main preaching points. You want to be eating fruits, veg, animal products and grains that do not have any residual farming chemicals or pesticides on them. These chemicals are very liver toxic and eating commercially farmed produce forces your body to work a lot harder than it should to process, assimilate and ultimately, eliminate the food.
- Don’t be afraid of fats, especially saturated fats. If the fats are from a healthy source it is not going to make us fat as many perceive. Fats and oils are essential for our optimum health. They are important building blocks for the cells of our body as well as for key hormones. The important point is to consume high quality fats and oils for our body to adequately utilise them. Some examples of healthy fats are; coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, organic butter, ghee, organic meat products, nuts and seeds and their oil derivatives.
Your digestion will tell you everything:
- For best digestion, drink your food. Chew until it becomes liquid
- For optimal energy balance, eat every 3 hours at the longest to keep your blood sugar levels (energy and mood) consistent
- Find and include some form of fermented foods in your diet – great for the immune system, gut health and many other benefits. Foods such as sauerkraut, kefir, kumbucha, pickled veggies are ideal.
Sometimes it’s good to not eat anything at all. Fasting has been a natural occurrence in ancient tribes since time immemorial and it gives our digestive system and other parts of the body an opportunity to fully repair and regenerate. Fasting is also a beautiful way to appreciate our abundant way of living.
Some ideas to try over the coming weeks:
HYDRATE: Not just to drink more but think of water quality. Aside from Fluoride there are many other bacteria and chemicals in our tap water that makes our bodies work a lot harder than necessary to process, detoxify, and then go to work hydrating our bodies. Drink water from a clean source or get a good filter. After that, endeavour to drink upward from 2 litres per day and more if you are exercising. You should be peeing clear all the time.
CLEANSE: Over time our tummies can accumulate a build up and/or overgrowth of flora or unfriendly gut bacteria. Every change in season or when you’re feeling it is time. It’s a good idea to take a look at your diet and have a cleanse. Simply cut out processed sugar, alcohol, processed grains (pasta, bread, chips etc.), dairy and coffee for a few weeks and see how you feel. There are many other ways of cleansing that include, fasting, juicing, colonic cleansing, anti-fungan diets.
COOK SLOW: Try cooking meals at lower temperatures (100C) for a longer period of time. The lower temperature will ensure that the minerals, enzymes and other goodies in the food stay in tact and are readily available for your body to then convert into energy.
SHOP LOCALLY: Shop every few days to ensure you’re eating the food with the highest vitality and quality.
MAKE DINNER YOUR SMALLEST MEAL: Our digestive engines are one of the hardest working systems in our bodies. It’s not a bad idea to give them a break at the days end and eat a smaller meal at dinner time. this will help digestion and take stress off the body. It may also improve sleep quality.
READ CAREFULLY: You know your body better than anyone else, listen to it. Read articles and information from reliable sources that have no agenda to sell you a product.
INVEST IN YOURSELF: Buying fresh free range produce, eating organically and preparing your food in a conscious manner takes time and can cost slightly more than eating out and eating cheap. BUT, it is an investment in your body. It’s better to pay now and doing it right than paying for expensive medicine further down the track.
EAT CONSCIOUSLY: When you sit down to have a meal, try to appreciate what is in front of you. We are so fortunate to have such an abundant food supply, that it may be easy to forget how much work has gone into what is on our plate.
￼￼HONOUR YOUR FOOD: If you are eating high quality food it will give you the vitality and life to kick arse in whatever it is that you are striving for.
ENJOY A GOOD BLOWOUT: Don’t worry if you have a bad eating day every now and then. It’s a great practice to be flexible with our environment. It is not feasible to have access to organic food or good choices everyday so just roll with it. It’s said by holistic health guru Paul Chek to live by the 80/20 rule; that is, if you’re eating true to your body’s needs and living well 80% of the time then your body will be able to enjoy and tolerate a good ole fall off the wagon on the odd occasion. It’s a good habit to not be too rigid and allow yourself that cheeky semiconductor coffee or chocolate when the moment arises. Often that is worth more to your health than holding back due to guilt.
- Processed / Synthetic fats and oils: Margarine, canola oil, high fructose corn syrup. BACK AWAY! These foods are closer to plastic than they are to food!
- The key takeout is to become empowered. Read labels, educate yourself. It’s actually quite fascinating. With all the information and experts out there, it is you who will learn to know your body and then listen to what it requires.
- Beware the four white devils as noted by Dr. Western A. Price
- Processed Sugar
- Pasteurised Dairy
- White Flour
- White table Salt
Some interesting reads and websites for those seeking further education:
- “How to eat, move and be healthy” by Paul Chek – a book for anyone who wants to look and feel their best. Contains custom plans for diet and exercise.
- “Food matters” and “Hungry for change” both great documentaries that explains what our nation is fast becoming and how to get healthy now.
- www.mercola.com A one stop search engine for everything health.
￼￼￼First published in North Journal