Diet and healthy eating go hand in hand. But as we all know, diets aren't always healthy. There was the 90's low fat craze, which was a compete disaster. People lost weight, but as far as health was concerned, people were loading up on low fat snacks and products that were loaded with chemicals and sugar alcohols. So it was acceptable to eat your days worth of calories in low fat snack cakes, but don't you dare touch that hard boiled egg or avocado. Why did we not question this earlier ?
Thankfully, things have evolved, and we have become much more educated on food, diets and nutrients. The millennial generation is practicing good healthy eating habits and spending most of their income on Matcha and Organic Fresh produce, which is amazing. But some people still swear by the old school mentality of calories in versus calories out, and low fat being the way to go instead of embracing healthy fats (which our brain needs to function). Some still seek a reason to justify eating low fat junk food instead of a serving of veggies or a package of almonds. The problem is, these artificially created snack foods and low fat products are exactly that, artificial. The body has to work very hard to break down these food products, as our digestive system was not built to bread down chemicals. It was built to break down real food. Avocados, eggs, nuts, veggies, fruit and lean animal proteins are whole foods and what our digestive system was built to break down and use for fuel. When we neglect these foods, and start to over eat the artifical junk food what happens? The body has to work very hard to try to break down these artificial food items. As a result of the excess stress on the digestive system, we experience inflammation in the body. You probably hear this word on every food blog these days, but it is a real thing. For some people, (again we have to keep in mind the concept of bio individuality which I discussed in an earlier blog post) certain grains, sugar, alcohol, legumes and dairy have a very inflammatory effect on their bodies, especially when consumed in excess. This can lead to weight gain, a tired sluggish feeling from the body working so hard and for some, bloating and excess gas which let's be real, is never convenient.
So what's the solution. Do we eliminate dairy and brown rice forever? No, not necessarily. This is where we practice moderation. All of these food categories that cause inflammation, are completely fine to eat in moderation. As individuals, we need to learn how much of a certain food group we are able to tolerate. It will be different for everyone. So what might work for you might not work for your best friend or sister. It's important to pay attention to how your body feels after each meal and really start to tune in more.
The easiest way to avoid this inflammatory effect, is to introduce mostly whole foods to your diet and try your best to avoid anything artificial or any low fat packaged products that have ingredient lists full of chemical that you do not recognize. As far as grains and beans which are whole natural foods, please eat and enjoy, but pay attention to how your body responds to them. Listen to your body so that you can learn on an individual level, what is agreeing with your body and what isn't.
In conclusion of this very long blog post, the main takeaway I am offering is to eat from nature as often as you can, and indulge on occassion. If a certain food group does not agree with your body, then avoid it as as often as possible so that you can feel your best. Veggies, leafy greens, lean protein, fruit, nuts and beans, whole grain and legumes (eat as frequently as your body can tolerate-for some that can be every day for some that may only mean a few days a week). Avoid processed and artificial foods as they will reek havoc on your digestive system. And of course, indulge on occassion. Enjoy that glass of wine when you are on a date, and enjoy the piece of cake that your mom baked at a holiday gathering. Do not neglect family and friends because of your diet, instead, make healthy choices around them in these situations. Don't create restrictions that are so tight that you neglect your family and friends. I have done this and I promise you, it isn't worth it. Take care of your body, feed it whole real food and live your life with the people you love.
If you need help Kickstarting a healthy eating plan or if you are looking for a new way to balance healthy eating, please shoot me an email on my "Contact me" link. I have a great online health coaching program that is personalized to each individual. I would love to help you on your journey :)
In Health and Wellness