I was in Boulder having dinner with a mentor of mine a few weeks ago and he shared with me that he had been on a “carnivore” diet for 4 months – he was exclusively eating primarily red, almost raw, meat.
I was shocked. Yet he reports feeling better than he has in his 70+ years – great energy, reduced pain, strong sex drive ... who could argue with that?
Another friend has been doing 22-hour fasting for the past 3-4 months – eating just once a day. His sleep has improved, energy is high, pain and chronic disease have vanished.
A Type I diabetic friend manages best on the Keto diet. As a blood type O, I feel much better sticking to meat and vegetables with a smattering of carbs.
All of this has gotten me to thinking – is there a magic bullet? One diet that cures all that ails us?
Nope. There are just a lot of people out there that have found what works for them, and now they’re preaching to all of us about what has been their panacea. (Which leads many of us to wonder if that diet would improve our health and vitality too!)
What my patients often do is dive from a lackadaisical diet into a complicated and foreign diet, which often leaves them unsuccessful or not feeling well. It’s often because some basic foundational principals – that I believe are universal – were not put into place first. Here’s where I recommend everyone start when making decisions about what foods to include and which to avoid:
Eat food in its naturally occurring form – how it shows up in nature is how it’s meant to be eaten. Eating whole almonds, raw honey, grains instead of flour, and potatoes instead of chips is a great place to start.If you’re suspicious of having food sensitivities, rather than do an expensive test, do an elimination diet. You have to take lots of time to re-introduce the foods one at a time so you notice how your body responds to each individual food.Eat food as it was traditionally prepared. Soy and dairy have always been cultured and fermented. Grains are sprouted, produce is eaten seasonally, sweeteners were used sparingly, if at all. Start every day with water to wake up your liver and digestive tract. Don’t wait until midday and then try to catch up.Just because it’s available in a health food store doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Continue to read labels, look for additives and choose food as ingredients, rather than food with ingredients. Be an educated consumer!If you can master these faive principles, you will be well on your way to higher vitality and optimal health. Slowing down and taking the time to listen to your body will ensure that you make healthful choices every time you eat. Take time to be curious about how your body receives various foods and play around to see where you feel best. Have faith that you have the perfect nutritionist inside of you, who is just waiting for you to listen.
Nicola Dehlinger is a naturopathic doctor at Pura Vida Natural Healthcare in Durango. She can be reached at 426-1684 or www.puravidahealthcare.com.