Proper nutrition and the importance of eating right for your body is one of my passions. When it comes to food it’s easy to forget that we’re all different – and thus benefit from different diets. While I’d love for everyone to eat whole real food, it’s important to understand what types of whole real foods are best for you and your body. Where some people thrive from being vegetarian, others become depressed, pale and weak. The same thing rings true on the carnivore end of the spectrum. Some meat eaters thrive, while others become diseased and full of inflammation. The bottom line: What works for me may not work for you.
With that all said, I hold to my original recommendation to stick to eating a diet full of whole foods—eating a large amount of vegetables and fruits (buying organic produce when possible) and eating organic and/or grass fed meat and dairy.
I am not new to the idea of diet changes. In fact, I recently reintroduced beef to my diet after removing it over a year ago. When I stopped eating beef it wasn’t because I thought that it was bad. I just didn’t want or crave it anymore. But a few months ago that changed when I found myself plagued by an on-going wave of tired and craving beef badly. As it turned out, I was suffering from low iron. So I knew that it was time for me to reintroduce beef into my life. Experiences like mine are not uncommon. Our bodies go through cycles – needing/benefiting from certain foods sometimes, while suffering from others. This is exactly why some dairy intolerant women can eat diary during pregnancy.
Many of us choose our diets based on our beliefs. But that can pose problems for our body. I would love to be a vegetarian for ethical reasons. But I know that my body does not thrive in that state. I am a natural meat eater, and as a result need to make sure that I encorporate it into my diet—in moderation of course.
If you are okay with reintroducing certain foods into your body, this is a good option for you. But I know that there are some cases where a change in diet is not possible—perhaps for religious reasons—and that is completely okay. But if you do find that there are some foods that your body responds well to, and others that cause adverse effects. Listen to those feelings and eat or avoid those foods. If you are a vegetarian for religious reasons—or just really can’t do meat—and suffering from a symptom like low iron, there are options for you. Speak to your physician or nutritionist and they can help you develop a meal plan that meets with your body’s needs.
If you are open to incorporating foods that you don’t currently eat into your diet, there is a right and a wrong way to do it. I am very particular about the meat that I buy. I only eat grass fed and/or organic beef, chicken, pork, and local free range eggs. This is not only because I am a vegetarian at heart—and meat sourced from organic farms typically follows ethical practices—but also because it is higher in nutrients. Conventional meat is very low in nutrients, high in antibiotics and hormones, and typically has a higher fat contents than it’s organic grass fed counterpart.
Conventional meat is raised on grains which cause the animal to produce a higher quantity of Omega 6 fatty acids. While grass-fed meat is high in both omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids play a very important role in our body, but need to be balanced in order to see the positive effects. Most people who consumes conventional meat and vegetable oils, (e.g. canola, sunflower, safflower, corn etc.) will have a higher amount of Omega 6s in their body. When we have a high amount of Omega 6s in our body, but a low amount of Omega 3s it can lead to inflammation. Again, it all comes down to balance.
Over the years I have learned that there is no one diet that suits everyone. Before my son was born I followed a diet called, “Eat Right for Your Blood Type.” I am a Type O blood type, which means that I don’t tolerate wheat or really any other grains overly well. Instead I benefit from eating mostly meats and vegetables. Due to this, I gave up wheat and was immediately relieved of a number of symptoms—many of which I didn’t even know I had. This caused something inside me click, and I immediately started researching food to learn more about the things that I was putting into my body. It was a eye-opening experience, let me tell you. I still don’t eat wheat and have since given up dairy—which was very hard for me to do, but well worth the benefits to my overall health. I am absolutely not saying that everyone should give up wheat and dairy, or start eating meat after years of avoiding it. What I would like you to take from this post, is this—
If you are not feeling awesome (perhaps you lack energy, are suffering from symptoms like, gas, bloating, eczema, acne, PMS, fatigue, inflammation, irritability) or something just doesn’t feel right. Start investigating it.
There are a number of ways to crack your body’s code and figure out what it is that is causing you to feel uncomfortable. Some options include, getting a sensitivity test from a naturopath, or trying an elimination diet to see what works and what doesn’t work for you. Your body is designed to be full of energy and do almost anything you ask of it. It’s also capable of living up to 120 depending on what you put into it, and how well you take care of it.
One thing that without a doubt works for everyone is eating a diet of whole real foods and avoiding pesticides, toxins, fillers and chemicals—think processed foods. To feel your best you need to learn what your body loves, and care about what you put in it. Once you do, you will lead a much happier life. I promise 🙂
If you have any questions about anything that I have discussed within this post, please don’t hesitate to either leave a comment or come and see me at the Balance In Motion studio. I am in the office on Mondays and Wednesdays. Also, if you have any questions specifically about your diet, please feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.