My amazing Reiki teacher Frans Stiene once taught me to never put myself in a box. This applies to every aspect of life and this especially holds true for the way I eat. Over the years my diet has evolved as my needs have changed based on where my life and body needs are at. My wonderful Culinary Nutrition teacher Meghan Telpner famously says, “Labels are for tin cans.” I couldn’t agree with this more. I love her UnDiet philosophy and both books that focus on this topic. One is a foundational book and the other is a fantastic cookbook, I highly recommend both. In fact the Culinary Nutrition Expert Program is based on this concept.
My food philosophy has also changed over the years, now I think it will perhaps stay the way it is for a long time to come. Back in 2015 during the CNE program we had to create our food philosophy as an assignment and it was different then than it is now. Currently my food philosophy is: Eat Empowered, Eat What Makes You Thrive and Feel Alive. What I mean by this is eating foods that make you as an individual truly thrive and feel alive. (We are all bio-individually different.) This doesn’t mean junk food that satisfies your craving, but you pay for it later or food like things devoid of nutrients. It means listening to your body, looking at your bodies reactions to food, how it truly makes you feel. Ask yourself is this way of eating sustainable? Does this need to be short term? (During a health event, etc.) Is this building health or harming it? It’s also about not being afraid to change things up when it’s not working optimally for you anymore. It means trying different ways of eating and seeing how it makes you feel. Your time of life, health status and bodily needs change and you need to eat to support this. My functional nutrition teacher Josh Gitalis suggests trying a strict vegan diet for one month and see how you feel, then try strict paleo diet and see how it makes you feel, etc. This is a good way to see what works for you. The point is to get really in tune with your body. Add variety, fine tune and tweak as needed, you are not tied to one way of eating for life. You can look at your micronutrient levels, hormone levels, health status, energy levels, etc. as indicators of how your diet is serving you.
Whatever way you choose to eat at this moment in time, there are some universal things that can help you thrive. Eating seasonally, locally and as nutrient dense as possible is the best practice. As organic as possible is also key. Plant centered, plant focused, plant based, plant powered, whatever you want to call it, make plants the main feature in your diet. Don’t forget protein, fat and fiber for optimum blood sugar balance and hormonal balance. Avoid processed food and definitely steer clear of gluten, dairy and junk food like things. Find what feels good, and thrive!