We all need to eat. That’s a given. We need to nourish our bodies on a cellular level so that we can maintain muscle and skeletal strength and keep up our endurance. It would appear these days that we’ve gotten away from the true meaning behind nutrition. In the United States and many other countries, we are now overfed and undernourished. Convenient fast food has taken over every corner and traditional foods have been kicked to the curb. Many of the fad diets out there that eliminate whole food groups are incorporating other products into their diets that don’t exist in nature….artificial sweeteners, protein powders, thickeners, supplements, etc. And we’ve really gotten away from our ancestral way of eating which was based on whole real foods….nothing fake…nothing processed.
When you walk into the grocery store, the first place you should visit should be the produce section. Seventy-five percent of what goes into your shopping cart should be in the form of produce…lots of vegetables and fruit. Making your way to the meat and seafood departments, make sure to pick lean cuts of meat that are hormone and antibiotic free, preferably organic and grass fed. Always pick wild fish and go with the smaller fish that are lower in mercury and other toxins. Pick eggs that are at a minimum free range. Organic and even pasture fed would be ideal. You will see when you crack a pasture egg just how golden the yolk is. That chicken was fed nothing but the best of nutrition.
There is a lot of controversy over certain foods like gluten, grains, soy, and dairy. I have very little opinion on these foods other than they happen to be some of the leading foods that cause food allergies. If you are tolerant and enjoy dairy, make sure to go organic. It will only benefit you down the line. Try to go local if possible. Not being a consumer of dairy products, I don’t really know which brands to pick from. So ask your grocer. Also, if you have the option to go raw….definitely take it. Raw butter and ghee are so medicinal and great for your immune system. Grains are really at the top of the No-No list these days. But they don’t need to be. Properly prepared grains that are soaked overnight can be very beneficial. Soaking your grains removes the phytic acid and eases the burden on the digestive system. Another controversial food is soy. So many foods are processed with soy these days and there have been many health issues in that regard. Soy can interfere with your thyroid function and it also acts on your estrogen receptors interfering with your hormones. If it is your intention to keep soy in your diet, be sure to get sprouted and fermented forms. Wildwood Organics sprouts their soybeans. Tempeh is also another option.
Most importantly, listen to your body. Ask your body what it needs. Communicate with it on a higher level. What you ate one day may not necessarily agree with you another day. Rotate your foods so that your system doesn’t form a sensitivity to any one food from over exposure. When it comes to diet, you need to develop a system that works best for you. It might be vegetarian in the summer and more meat and grain based in the winter months. Allow yourself the freedom to choose based on how you feel….not on what’s popular. It’s easy to fall into a pattern of what others are doing based on the latest information out there. And although it may work for them, it may not work for you….at least not long term.
One thing I am learning about nutrition is that it’s ever changing. There are times when I can eat the same diet for an extended period of time and then there are times when I need to rotate my foods a lot more often. But by paying attention and being truly in tune with how your body feels when you feed it, you will come to the perfect plan for you.