I really hate the word 'diet'.
It conjures up feelings of a rumbling belly, deprivation, emptiness and a strict regimented routine.
YUCK, YUCK and YUCK!
And I think I can safely say that these same feelings resonate with everyone out there that has given a 'diet' a go, be it simply the "starve myself and hope I get skinny" diet, or one of the many fad diets that have graced our bookshelves or pages of our favourite magazine over the years.
There are literally thousands of so called 'diets' out there, each one disagreeing with the other, giving conflicting information and skewed statistics to persuade you that it is the perfect diet for you and will make all your wildest dreams come true. And as crazy as many of them seem, it pays to think about why each one was created to begin with.
And the reason? For someone out there in this world, this 'diet' made them feel amazing, helped them achieve their goals and totally worked for them. And with thousands of diets out there, each having done something positive for at least one person somewhere in the world, it confirms the fact that there truly isn't one 'perfect' diet or way of eating, that works for everyone.
To quote Joshua Rosenthal of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN), 'One person's food is another person's poison'. What may seem like a crazy, boring or ill-fitted diet to us, may in fact be the very combination of food that helps someone else reach their optimum levels of health and vitality.
This concept is called Bio Individuality and is a key part of my studies at IIN towards becoming a health coach. And it is something that I believe in 100%. Whilst some people thrive on a plant-based diet, others find strength and wellness in consuming animal products. Whilst some Asian cultures benefit from longevity and wellness linked to a diet that is high in sea vegetables and fresh fish, other cultures find optimum health in other land-based food.
It all comes down to finding out what works for you.
Honing in to how your body reacts to certain foods, what foods you naturally gravitate to and what types of food make you feel at home. What gives you the most energy and clarity? What makes you glow and feel satisfied? What types of food make you happy?
The only way to really get down and dirty with what foods are aligned with our optimum levels of health, happiness and vitality is to be completely present when it comes to our food choices and experimenting with what we put on our plate. Mix it up - try new things and document or make a mental note of what FEELS right.
It is a clear given here that increasing our vegetable and water intake, along with moderate exercise, is always going to be a key part of a healthy lifestyle. But our daily plate and life incorporates so much more than that, and should not be dictated by what a best-selling book has to tell us. Dairy or no dairy? Grains or no grains? Raw food or cooked? Meat or no meat?
Follow your gut! Literally!
If something feels right to you, go with it. No-one knows your body better than you.
Hey You! Have you fallen into the diet trap at one point of your life? Been persuaded by a radical diet, only to once again find that it didn't work for you? Or perhaps you found your healthiest self in sticking to a well-known diet? Give me a yell in the comments below, and let's chat!
(Image sourced from here)