You may be feeling overwhelmed by the information overload on all the possible diets to try out. It's easy to get lost in the vast amount of nutritional information and so many "new" super foods and food fads coming and going. I'd like to remind you that what works for one person, or some people, may not work for you and the other way around.
The best thing for your body is for you to learn how to listen to it. What does that even mean? Learning to listen to my body? The more we become aware of how certain foods affect us, the time of day we are eating them, and what those effects are- we are better able to fuel our bodies with what it needs, and limit or eliminate what is causing inflammation and any other negative symptoms.
Inflammation in the body is swelling, heat, and irritation. Dis-ease, eventually can lead to disease. Learning how to notice and limit any dis-ease in the body can help us avoid diseases down the road; not to mention feeling great, looking great, and functioning at optimal health along the way.
Listening to our bodies is a unique practice for everyone. We have our own story with our relationship to our bodies and the world around us. If we are stressed at work, we may experience the stress physically in our body; it may show up as indigestion, insomnia, or anxiety. What we can do to help prevent the stresses of work and external factors effecting our bodies, is to take great care in how we fuel and care for our bodies. What we use to feed our body is highly important, but not the only piece to the puzzle of health.
How do I know what works for me or doesn't?
Elimination diets are a great way to get back to basics. What this means, is for a certain amount of time, generally a two week to one month time frame of eliminating all the "suspect" foods from your diet. To name a few variations: the Bulletproof Diet, the Candida Diet, the Elimination Diet, the Whole 30 for 30, etc. Essentially eating very clean and basic for an allocated amount of time. After you have cleansed the body of the most popular inflammatory foods, you slowly begin re-introducing items back in one at a time to see what works for you and what may be best to keep away from for now.
This process allows you to feel what effects, if any, are happening when the new item is added back in. For example, if you haven't eating any dairy for a month, then re-introduce it, you find there are things you didn't notice before about the way it makes you feel. Dairy may cause bloating and gas, or you may feel drained and exhausted after eating it. Some people find that after an elimination diet, when they re-introduce foods, that their sensitivities to certain foods have decreased. This can be an affect of the body healing and becoming stronger during your time of clean eating, the immune system and digestive system back with greater function, thus not having a reaction to that substance. Our bodies are so good at healing themselves when given the chance.
In our culture, rest and relaxation tend to be viewed as lazy, selfish, or extra. Both rest and relaxation are necessary for our health and our repair process long and short term. It's our job to fuel and care for our bodies. When fueled correctly, we can reach our greatest potential, set and accomplish our goals, and achieve our dreams. Here are a few ways you can bring clean eating and healthy food back into your life.
Overall Healthy & Clean Eating tips:
1. Seasonal & Local Vegetables
2. Limit or eliminate the packaged food. When in the grocery store, stick to the perimeter, no need to venture up and down the isles of processed food that sits on the shelves for months.
3. Make your food at home. Bring your own lunch to work. Home cooked meals are always better for you than eating out, or getting something on the go.
4. Bring on the healthy fats! Don't be afraid of the good fats.
5. Think mostly veggies. Then add what you think your body needs from there, maybe a little protein, maybe a little grain, stick mostly to plant based and seasonal veggies.
The health spectrum is large and we are all on our own journeys of health. Whether you are experienced with your health and have been re-fining your needs to suit your body for years, or just starting out on your path to improving your health, you are right where you should be. You are amazing for caring enough about your body to read through this page and you have all the abilities to improve your personal health and personal life now. If you need help or support along the way, I would love to assist you on your journey.
Find support, guidance, and a tribe to help you. Having support on your path to better health is a wonderful tool to remain focused and motivated to reach your goals and feel alive in your body and mind. As Anthelme Brillat-Savarin said in 1826: "Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are." Or as we say today: "You are what you eat so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake!"