You know when you have food sensitivities and you see someone digging into something you’d love to have but can’t? That’s what it’s come to these days. The can and can’t haves of nutrition. There are more foods listed on the no-no list than on what you can eat. Makes you want to curl up with a hot cup of water and a book. More than likely there is a food item that you simply cannot have. And by process of elimination you’ve probably narrowed it down to one of the most offending foods out there…….dairy, gluten, eggs, soy, corn, or grains in general. Lots and lots of people are avoiding all sorts of grains these days in an attempt to be healthy. And it makes sense. Our foods are so overly processed, the amount of nutrition you are getting is next to nin.
I’ve worked in the nutritional/cleansing field for a great number of years. There are no hard facts when it comes to nutrition. On one hand you have one person telling you that it’s calories in vs calories out that matters. Another person will tell you go ahead and eat all the protein and veggies you want….but stay away from all starches because they are fattening and cause inflammation in the body. Who’s right and who’s wrong?
They both are!! When it comes to nutrition and YOUR body all theories are right and wrong. They are right for one person and completely wrong for you. A person who lives a sedentary lifestyle obviously cannot eat as much as a person who is active and runs marathons. However a person who is hormonally sensitive to insulin and cortisol may need to monitor the types of foods they eat vs the actual calories. Calories matter. Macros matter. And Volume matters as well. I’ve seen people eat nothing but salads, veggies, and proteins and gain weight while those who are eating pasta, rice, and other grains are losing weight. So portion size matters as well. What it comes down to is what works best for you.
In my 20s, when I really took a hold of my diet and lifestyle, I ate more so for quality and was truly able to stomach enormous amounts of food and still be hungry a few hours later. I ate regular meals and snacks. These days if I eat too much “volume” in one sitting, I am still too full to eat at the next meal. So I have to make my calories and nutrients count at each meal. And that’s important. I workout regularly and am very physically active. So if I skip meals, it shows up for me in my health elsewhere.
Nutrition absolutely is based on one person’s individual needs. The ads and articles I see everywhere stating that a certain lifestyle way of eating is for everyone is hogwash. I’ve played around enough. A few months ago I did the 28 day Primal Challenge and never felt worse in my life. Three meals a day I ate protein, vegetables, and a source of health saturated fat. Although these are foods that I eat regularly as it is. The elimination of all starches like oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and kabocha squash completely eliminated a huge foundation of my diet and caused me much digestive distress. As soon as I rotated back these foods into my diet, my digestion and energy balanced out a bit more. But there are some who simply cannot tolerate grains, even gluten free grains, and find that the primal or paleo way of eating is much better for them. If you are vegetarian and do well with soy, that’s your body tolerating it. I personally digest soy really well, but I steer clear of it do to its effects on the thyroid.
Sometimes it’s challenging figuring it all out on your own. I get that. I’ve had some health issues in my life and have thrown my hands up in the air wondering what I could possibly do to fix it. I’m finding now that actually smaller portions over all work best for me. Eating consistently, steering clear of dairy and gluten, never going too low in any one macronutrient (like carbs for instance) and making sure my foods are properly prepared really works for me. Going gluten free wasn’t enough for me. The grains still needed to be soaked overnight in an acid base before I actually noticed a difference. Now a day doesn’t go by that I don’t have a big bowl of oatmeal.
So, work with yourself first. Cut the portions down. Play around with the food choices. If you are feeling bloated, think about the foods that you eat the most of. Do you eat a lot of dairy, bread, or sweets. These foods can cause a great deal of inflammation for many. Eliminate them for a good 14-28 days and slowly reintroduce them. If they cause a reaction then you know that you need to keep them out temporarily until your body heals. And it will heal. It always does.
If you are still struggling to find that perfect fit, seek out someone to coach you through it. A health coach, a naturopath, or someone qualified to help you with your nutritional needs. It could be one food….it could be a whole group….or it could be something completely unrelated to your diet entirely.