There is so much health information out there these days. Much of it is very valuable, but with that being said some of it can get confusing.
Everywhere you turn, there is not only new information and research coming to light, but there are so many different facts, articles and opinions.
I often get the following questions: Do I have to be vegan to be healthy? Do I have to eat perfectly in order to stay healthy? How do I know what the best diet is for ME?
I’d like to clear the air a little on these questions.
First, let’s address the question, Do I have to be vegan to be healthy?
The simple answer to this is…no! Allow me to explain.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you may have gotten the idea that I am vegan, or at least moving in that direction.
The truth is, I’m not vegan. I simply eat foods that I feel nourish my body best, and most of the time those foods just happen to be fruits and veggies!
To eat “healthy” means to feed your body with deep nutrition. Every body is different. For some, deep nutrition may mean eating mostly raw fruits and veggies. For others, deep nutrition may mean cooked soups and stews, bone broths, grass fed lamb or pastured eggs, and for some it may mean a diet rich in healing probiotic foods. It depends totally on where you are on your health journey.
However, the ONE thing I always recommend for every human for a healthy body, is to eat an alkaline diet, rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. Those vegetables can be raw or cooked, but the important part is that you are eating a diet that is 80% alkaline (fruits and veggies), and 20% the rest (grass fed/organic animal proteins, wild caught fish, occasional “treats,” organic dairy, sprouted nuts, seeds and grains).
In doing this, we keep the body’s PH balanced for a strong immune system, healthy digestion, and well functioning organs and glands including and especially the liver, kidneys and adrenal glands.
In simple terms, eating an alkaline diet helps keep our internal organs functioning optimally for proper nutrition absorption, waste removal and hormone balance.
Now let’s move on to the next question, Do I have to eat perfectly in order to stay healthy?
Let’s first clear up this fact: There is no such thing as perfect. So please do not try to strive for “perfection.” In the long run this can ultimately be very daunting and set you up for disappointment later on.
We live in the real world, as I like to say. So just do your best and forget the rest J
So no, you do not have to ‘eat perfectly’ to stay healthy. That’s why I go by the 80%/20% rule! If you are eating alkaline 80% of the time, that gives you plenty of wiggle room to have a treat now and then, or to enjoy a holiday party, or to simply not feel so restricted.
Now finally, let’s address the question, How do I know what the best diet is for ME?
There are two answers to this question…
1. Tune in and listen to your body. As you move through your day, simply notice how you feel after eating certain foods. Notice when you feel good, energized, excited and balanced. On the contrary, take note of when you feel not so good, lethargic, down or imbalanced in some way.
A great way to really begin to notice this and start to tune into your body/food connection is to start a simple food journal.
A food journal is not for documenting your food and calories in this case (although it can be, depending where you are on your journey). Instead, I often recommend food journals to really get connected with your body and what you are eating.
I recommend my clients write down what they are eating, and how they feel in response.
2. Seek guidance from a professional. If you are feeling lost and just aren’t sure exactly what you need nutrition wise, consult someone who can help you.
Perhaps that means seeking a holistic health practitioner. Perhaps it means seeing your physician and getting some blood testing for nutritional deficiencies or food sensitivities.
Whatever this means for you, you most certainly do not need to figure it out on your own, and I don’t recommend you do. There are people out there just waiting to help you, and you could be feeling better quite quickly just by reaching out for support.
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