Food Freedom Friday Edition 54

Nutrition Nirvana

What is your ideal diet plan?

Right now is as good a time as any to create a greater focus around your wellness, especially when it comes to movement and nutrition. There are a myriad of diet books available, all claiming to have your ticket to health, wellness and body composition nirvana. It is often tough to know where to even begin and becomes overwhelming with all the conflicting information and vastly differing opinions. So which regimen is the best, who has the right answer?

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer. Bio-individuality, what makes us different from each other, means the ideal diet will vary for each one of us.

That being said, there are definitely some nutritional and lifestyle basics that work across the board for almost everyone!

Your ideal diet refers not only to the food you eat, but the lifestyle choices you make and the environment in which you live. I know many of these points will seem glaringly obvious, but think about it, how consistent are you at following them?

Your Diet, simplified:

It’s YOUR responsibility to empower yourself and take control of your health and your life. You can fix you; your body is smart and has the ability to correct what has gone awry, it just needs the right tools (fuel) to do so! Each time you put something in your mouth you are making a choice. Choose to honor and respect, choose health, and choose strength.

    •  Sounds so simple, yet we are surrounded by and bombarded with food-like substances constantly. They may seem easy, tasty and convenient, but to our bodies, they are foreign substances. My philosophy: if you can’t pick it, pluck it or kill it, don’t eat it.
    • Avoid processed foods. Food-like substances are manufactured and processed with chemicals and easily turned into fat (your body’s storage area for toxins).
    • Avoid foods known to cause inflammation in the body. These include gluten, grains, soy, corn and sugar. For some of us this could also include eggs and dairy.
    • Eliminate refined and added sugars. This warrants repeating and reinforces my eat real food mantra. Check your labels and learn the sneaky synonyms food manufacturers use. Sugar is added to just about EVERYTHING!
    • Eliminate anything artificial – sweeteners, colors, additives. No good can be derived from these chemicals
    • Avoid genetically modified foods – most common crops are wheat, corn, soy, and sugar cane (and watch the movie Genetic Roulette).
    • Eat your vegetables, and lots of them at that.
    • Eat organic whenever possible. This is a sure fire way to ensure you are not ingesting harsh chemicals, strange drugs and genetically modified organisms.
    • Remember, you are what you eat eats. Factory farmed animal proteins are ill-treated, full of hormones and antibiotics and fed a diet far from their naturally intended nutrition. Pasture-raised and grass fed are always optimal.
    • Eat mindfully; chew each bite to optimize digestion and absorption.
    • Stay hydrated with good old H2O
  3. SLEEP
    •  7-9 hours when it’s dark is ideal
  4. DE-STRESS, stress will ensure your body hangs on to its fat reserves.
    • Allow stress to become an opportunity rather than a burden
  5. PLAY a little (or a lot), in whatever way inspires and excites you
    • Find things that inspire you, fill you up, are magical for you, and light you UP! 
    • Nourish yourself with LOTS of compassionate, warm words and acts of kindness. Be your own best cheerleader!
    • Let vibrant health – aka one good decision upon the next – be a GIFT you give to yourself, out of self-love and honoring, each day. 
    • Choose carefully who you surround yourself with – this is the greatest predictor of your state of health!
    • Mix it up: get your heart rate up, make your muscles work with weights and body weight/isometrics, stretch, yoga, etc.
    • Fluoride (found in tap water and toothpaste).
    • Mercury fillings.
    • Products with parabens, PCBs (most commonly found in farm-raised salmon).
    • Pesticides (found in conventional produce).
    • Mold and fungi (found in contaminated buildings and foods such as peanuts, wheat, alcohol and corn).
    • Phthalates found in plastic bottles, plastic wrap and plastic food storage containers.
    • Dioxins (commercial animal products).
    • Limit use of prescription and over-the-counter drugs – all chemicals that accumulate over time, leaving the liver with a mess to clean up.
    • Develop self-awareness
      • What works for you, and what doesn’t.
      • What makes your body run smoothly and optimally, and what doesn’t.
      • What keeps you at a healthy, stable weight, and what doesn’t
    • Experiment with amounts of
      • Protein
      • Carbohydrate
      • Fruit
      • Sleep
      • Self-care

Be consistent with your choices and remind yourself that you ARE worth it!

Finally, having an outside, objective, encouraging and knowledgeable coach will make sorting out YOUR ideal diet more clear, and a lot more fun. Working with an advocate for YOUR health will save you from erroneous, unproductive experimentation and speed up the process a huge amount!

Michal Ofer