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The BEST Non-Diet Eating Plan!

The Dizzying Deception of Diets

Almost every year some new diet hits the media with a fresh promise to lose weight, increase energy and cure every ailment imaginable. This is not a new phenomenon. Few recall that the grapefruit diet originally came out in the 1930’s, nearly forty years before it was rediscovered and soared in popularity during the 70’s. Since then, we’ve had a never ending conga line of diets pledging everything from a hotter body to bionic powers. (I’m still waiting for one that does my laundry!)

Clarifying by Category

Diets come in all types of categories. We have the “low” group which includes low fat, low sugar and low carb. There are the “one” food diets e.g. the cabbage soup, the banana and the broccoli diet (I believe Costco is working on the hot dog diet). Plus, my personal favorite, the cookie diet. Next, we have big name entries like Paleo (the Caveman Diet), Plant Based, Atkins, The Zone, South Beach and the Hollywood. You can also set sail on the seven seas of liquid diets from apple cider vinegar, to lemonade, to fruit and veggie juices. And, not to leave out any scholars, the science community has contributed eating regimens based on blood type, macrobiotic principles and alkalizing characteristics.

The Vagaries of Vegetarianism

The “vegetarian” category can be a confusing behemoth all on its own. Let’s start with the purist vegans who avoid all animal products like eggs, dairy products, or even honey. Next, you enter the realm of hyphenated vegetarians which include lacto-vegetarians, who eat dairy products, but not eggs; lacto-ovo vegetarians, who eat both eggs and dairy products. As a mind bending bonus, you can also find… meat eating vegetarians! Yes, I said meat eating vegetarians….go figure. There are pesce-vegetarians who include fish in their diet, pollo-vegetarians who enjoy chicken and turkey. And, though I haven’t heard of any beef and bacon-vegetarians, there are always the bendable yogis of food, the flexitarians, who will selectively scarf down anything from vegan fare to whatever else beckons their adaptable palate, all without remorse. One major caution when dealing with vegetarians – NEVER… EVER… EVER call a vegan… a vegetarian!

Moving from Dieting to Loving Food

A quick review of the diets above would produce a long list of do's and don’ts backed by testimonials and scientific analyses which sometimes contradict each other. This is my life’s work, and even I get overwhelmed by the vast differences in theories out there. But one thing I know for sure … there is no one-size-fits-all eating plan. Trying to implement a theory can produce the release of stress hormones that make eating a Big Mac, fries and a shake seem a healthier option. But there is a way to have your cake and eat it, too. With three simple principles, I’m going to show you how to simplify your life and figure out how to meet our own specific nutritional needs.

Mind Body Healing Principles of Eating

I believe that an easy-to-implement holistic approach is the most beneficial for your health and for your overall quality of life. Instead of rules, I have principles. Flexibility is allowed but stress, guilt or shame is not, even if you eat French fries once in a while. In today’s fast paced world, it’s not practical to be perfect all of the time. Instead, strive for making good choices and don’t beat yourself up if you have cake at your best friend’s wedding. The key to success is learning, improving and adapting along the way. So, here are my three principles of eating.

Eat Real Food… Eat Balanced… Eat to Enjoy

Eat Real Food

Food quality is a real issue in this country no matter what type of diet theory you follow. I always find it funny that we are the only species that has to learn how to eat. You’d never see a mamma zebra looking up in a book what to feed her young. And here we are, humans, with libraries full of books on food, agriculture, nutrition, food processing, etc.…. We’ve lost our intuition for what to eat and our taste buds are tricked by good tasting food additives. In today’s age with agricultural systems and food manufacturing based on profits rather than health, we have to be our own advocate for quality food.

Here are some quick tips on selecting quality foods:

  • Read labels. If you can’t pronounce let alone understand a food ingredient, look it up. With search engines at your fingertips it’s easier than ever to spend a few extra minutes to search for an ingredient so that you can make an informed choice on what pass through your lips.

  • Choose the highest quality possible. There seem to be more and more food designations every month, but just to get you started here are the main ones to focus on for now… organic, locally grown without pesticides, locally grown, free range, grass fed and unpasteurized. I will go into these in more depth at a later time, otherwise this article will turn into a book. :)

Eat Balanced

Although we all have different specific needs, there are some basic food groups that benefit everyone, but not necessarily in the same ratio. And you can get them with or without consuming animal products. The goal is to focus on balancing the types of nutrients you need in a day. There are two major types; macronutrients (fats, proteins and carbohydrates) and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, phytonutrients). I have provided a guide below to help you create a plan that works for you. Feel free to use this as a reference on its own or overlapped with a particular food theory of your choice. When it comes to a specific health goal or medical condition I recommend that you layer in options related to your situation and check with your doctor.

Eat to Enjoy

When we rush through meals, stressed out, disliking what’s on our plate, we produce stress hormones that are counter-productive to digestion and nutrient uptake. We absorb more nutrients when we enjoy and appreciate our food. When I was growing up, healthy food tasted like cardboard, hardly something you enjoy. Today, culinary options for healthy foods have become much more abundant and delicious! Since we eat at least three times a day, why not make your meal a source of enjoyment? Don’t strive for perfection (stress). Strive for progress (a joyful process). Take your time, slow down, appreciate the textures and flavors of each bite you take. Try new foods and spices. Use vegetables and herbs for flavor. Red bell pepper, carrots and sweet potato can sweeten up a dish, spinach and celery are naturally salty, top your dish with fresh herbs and VOILA, you’ve got a flavorful and nutritious culinary experience! Love your food and it will love you back.

Love you tons!


Holistic Health Tips

Fast and Easy Solutions to Enhance Your Llife

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