Optimal Health Diet

My Diet Veggie Picture.jpg

Many are searching for that optimal health diet! We want endless energy to live a long and fruitful life and to feel great in the skin we are in! So what is the secret? Well…..I actually hate the word diet as it takes me back to the 80s and all of the horrible fad diets start to make me nauseous. I fell victim to just about every fad diet in the 80s and 90s growing up. As much as I wish that I hadn’t I have been able to learn so much about health, wellness, and my body throughout it all. There is always a silver lining! So, what is my diet these days? It is pretty simple – it is all about balance. Fueling my body with nutrient dense REAL foods while at the same not restricting or forgetting to feed my soul which is equally important.

What exactly do I mean by feeding my soul? No it is not a free pass to eat all of the chocolate I want. It means that if I really to enjoy a donut with my family I will. If I want a second plate of food I get it. If I need a bowl of cereal at night before bed I eat it. Most importantly, it means having no guilt afterward either. It has to be something that I want and am able to fully enjoy otherwise it just isn’t worth it to me. I used to fall victim to the food peer pressure where it was just easier to eat the damn food that others were pushing on me even though I knew I would feel like shit afterwards. That is definitely not feeding the soul. Hoarding food alone is not feeding your soul and I have been victim to this in the past as well. It also doesn’t mean eating cookies and bon-bons every day. I try and be very in tune with my body and what exactly it needs to feel my best. I think most of us are out there searching for optimal health which includes both mental and physical. That is why I include feeding the soul as a key part to any healthy diet and food relationship. It is a critical piece to the mental and social aspect. Learning how to listen to your body definitely takes time and involves trial and error though your body providing consistent feedback on what it needs and doesn’t. The challenge for us is to listen and adapt to what it is telling us. I have gotten extremely good at this over the years and it is so worth the effort and practice. It becomes so effortless over time and gives you food freedom and guilt free effortless eating.

I use hashtags like #keto #whole30 #paleo #grainfree etc. because many of my recipes fit these diet profiles so those looking for specific recipes can find my tasty creations. It however doesn’t mean that I follow any one of them nor do I think under most circumstances is it necessary unless you are suffering from a disease or are obese. Diets are simply to restrictive and do not allow us to learn and adapt to what our changing bodies need. It can also have long term impacts on overall health and the body’s natural chemical reactions. The body will take the path of least resistance and adapt with each dietary change we make. If the diets we practice are not life long sustainable then we often see rebound effects and rapid weight gain when we fall off the specific diet wagon we were on because the body changed its process to adapt.

The way I eat is a lifestyle not a diet. My diet and eating habits change and evolve over time based on the feedback from my specific body not from what worked for someone else. I typically eat closely to the Whole 30 because that is what best fuels my body at this age and time. Will I eat food that doesn’t follow Whole 30? Most definitely!  Eating grain free most of the time has made me feel best but I don’t let it get in the way of those times when my options are limited or I simple want something to feed the soul. How did I uncover that grain free was best for me? I used to have the absolute worst stomach pain. I stopped eating gluten 13 years ago and felt ahhhhhhmazing! Like a new woman! I felt alive and noticed a major shift in my mental health as well. I was still having some gas and bloating and when I tested removing grains from my diet I become completely symptom free of tummy troubles. It was a miracle. Over time I have been able to heal my gut and rebalance my gut microbio. This has allowed me to incorporate back in more grains a few times a week and not face the painful gassy repercussions that I used to have to endure. Often small changes over a period of time can help us heal and regain the ability to process foods more effectively but it all starts with listening to your body’s cues and learning to do what works best for you! Not what worked for your buddy!

Below are my 3 favorite tips on eating for wellness and optimal energy:

1.       REAL FOOD: Avoid processed food as much as possible. I know you have heard it a million times but it is true. This is one sound piece of nutritional advise that isn’t going away. Buy whole real basic food ingredients and cook at home. (hence my numerous real food recipes that I share with each of you 😉) .

2.       EAT ORGANIC: Much disease can be traced back to chemicals in our environment (cosmetics, household products, unfiltered water, and food). Eating organic is one of the easiest and quickest changes one can make to impact overall health. Our body was not designed to filter and detox the large amount of toxins being sprayed and used in our food. Want more proof that organic food is worth the few extra cents? Google glyphosate and be prepared to be very afraid. It was found in all foods and has a direct link to cancer! https://nypost.com/2018/04/30/pesticide-linked-to-cancer-is-in-nearly-every-us-food-report/

3.       LIMIT SUGAR: There is no way around it, excess sugar is straight poison to the body’s ability to function optimally. Sugar is linked to nearly every major disease yet we still consume absurdly high amounts of it! Why? Because it is straight up addictive! Think it is not? Try and detox and let me know how you feel going off of all sugar for just 7 days. You will feel sick, lethargic, and absolutely miserable. If you want your best shot at longevity this to is a super easy way to have major impacts on your health. It doesn’t cost any money – actually it will save you money by cutting out those daily Frappuccinos and scones. I am not saying I don’t consume sugar because I do but it is a rarity and something that I am very cognizant of. Sugar is in everything even savory food items are loaded with sugar. Food companies do it on purpose because the research shows that it will cause the consumer to want more and more. Check out the insane amount of sugar in BBQ chips or your favorite Chinese dish. Likely there is more sugar in those than a serving of fruit. By the way, fruit is 100% okay in my book. Consuming 1-2 servings per day provides energy for your brain and body. Fruit is real food and our body knows how to process it. I also avoid and despise fake sugars including monk fruit, brown rice syrup and stevia. I prefer honey, dates, bananas, and maple syrup over any other forms for sweetening baked goods or other treats. This goes right in alignment with tip #1 - eat REAL FOOD!

I hope this helps some of you find a better balance in 2019. Our society is suffering from food confusion and obsession. The truth is, it is all very simple. There is no magic pill or diet. It takes some tuning into our own body to determine what can provide each of us with longevity and optimal health!  Put in the work and your body will reward you. It is your best investment.