* my sis ( black dress ) and myself ( red dress ) dining on some great soul food on vacation *
The world of nutritional advice seems like it’s getting increasingly contradicting and confusing every year, doesn’t it? This doesn’t help anyone who is already overwhelmed by the thought of embarking on a new health or fitness journey. Many who are just starting out in the health arena already can’t even visualize themselves in that life because it’s so completely foreign to them, and their brain wants to shut down and run for cover after hearing too many theories in one day.
If I just described you, let me assure you, it is entirely possible for you to find yourself in that life. No one is born a health or fitness expert. No one emerges from the womb with a chiseled six pack and a set of great hammies, nor was myself or any other ‘nutrition expert’ born with an exceptional ability to navigate the sea of nutritional advice. We all started out exactly where yo are today, looking for answers and trying new things.
Let me also assure you that, if you have tried many lifestyles ( my preferred name for diets ), and are now feeling tired of the hassle, or just wish you could “find yourself” already, you are exactly where you are need to be.
Reference Thomas Edison and remind yourself that it takes many tries to find what works, also remembering that what works for one will likely not work the same for you. If I was to give you only one piece of advice as your coach, it would be to forget about the fabulous new diets that are all the rage right now, and to instead take what knowledge you have thus far gathered and look inward. I tell people to find their soul food, whatever that may be, and embrace it.
Soul food? That may sound corny, but it’s very true. We are all so physiologically different that it’s really very silly to think that one specific diet will work for everyone. The reality of it is that we all have very different dietary needs. While many will experience the “paleo” or vegan diet and have such great results that they are inclined to believe nothing beyond their one experience is real, it’s actually about who you are and what body/blood type you are. This is why phad diets and ‘cleanses’ tend to fail in the long run, usually followed up by an even greater binge period.
You know how they say that we only use 10% of our brain capacity? I’m not sure about the actual percentage, so don’t quote me on this, but it’s definitely very true to some large degree. Our mind as a whole is aware of so much more than our conscious mind is. The body is an absolutely amazing thing, that works in ways science will never fully understand, and though we might try to re-invent the wheel, it will always be round. Knowing what we need to eat is actually very intuitive/instinctive, if you will, but we have been taught to forget this innate ability.
I say soul foods, though, because while many assume nothing affects health more directly than what you put in your mouth, physical food is in fact only secondary when it comes to overall health and wellness. To find your ‘soul food’ means to find the way of eating that will bring you happiness and contentment, whatever that might be. There are about a billion-and-one experts out there on every single “miracle diet”, and ultimately only you can know what is good for you.
There is no escaping or changing the fact that as individuals we all have dietary needs very unique to ourselves, but what if someone wants to become vegan who, say, is a blood type O? Bio-individuality, a concept that a explore with my clients, tells us that traditionally type O people are engineered to eat meat and cannot thrive on a plant based diet. This person, however, has moral reasons behind their choice to become vegan, so what then?
If a person detests the very thought of eating meat, then no matter what bio-individuality tells us, meat will not in any way be healthy for them. While my family thrives off various amounts of animal products (living in AK we constantly have wild game and seafood ), I respect and support vegans for this very reason. Veganism is a powerful stand against factory farming as well, but I’m feeling another post coming on about that…So I digress.
To wrap it up, eat what makes you happy, and do not be afraid of failure. It really is that simple. As long as your moving forward, no matter how slowly, you are making progress. Let go of any preconceived notions that you should achieve perfection; there you will fail. As with anything, the only way to learn what works for you is through trial and error.
No one diet will ever work for every person, and to think as much is absurd. Here in the world of nutrition there is a whole lot of judgment, and you needn’t worry about it. Only YOU can know what works for you.
* Uh oh, my daughter dinning on some ‘soul food’ last summer…so okay it did happen to be a s’more, but this is like a once or three times a year event for my kids, and actually only for my daughter *