Disagreement arises as there can be no option that suits everyone. Back to our car analogy. Not everyone wants cruise control, leather seats or a 2-seater car. This is where we must acknowledge our differences and tap into our intuition to decide what is best for our individual needs. Every single one of us is different. There can be no nutritional rule that is one size fits all. However, the destination is the same. We want to live healthy lives – filled with energy, vitality, sleep and most importantly we want that to last for as many decades as possible.
Fruit – no fruit, one piece a day, eating certain fruits, eating in abundance
It’s all about the fructose. How much natural sugar do you need?
Coffee – no coffee, one a day, four a day, not before bedtime.
Caffeine is a drug that gives us a lift. If that’s a craving or an addiction I would suggest that’s not a healthy option.
Chocolate – not as confusing as you may think.
General agreement is that the occasional small piece (30 to 60 grams) of dark chocolate is ok. Again, if you feel an out of control need for it – walk away!
Alcohol – the guidelines on alcohol are actually clear….we just don’t follow them.
How does it make you feel before you drink? During? Afterwards? A hangover is the body telling you something. Loud and clear it is saying TOO MUCH.
Meat – I’ve been a vegetarian since my teens so it’s something I feel quite passionate about. Even those that say we need to eat meat talk about portion sizes of 100 grams or less, organic or grain fed meat and cook to retain nutrients. On the other side (you knew it was coming!), meat production is responsible for most of our environmental and climate problems. Animals are treated in an incredibly cruel and inhuman way. Our antibiotic crisis is caused by our desire for meat. Most of the antibiotics made are for livestock. It’s a financial disaster if your livestock are sick. This then means that the animal flesh you are eating is packed full of antibiotics….. then when we are sick we have become immune to the effect of the antibiotics. General agreement is that we are heading for an antibiotic crisis that’s caused by consuming meat and our environment is suffering.
Gluten – hype or real?
Opinion varies greatly here. What is agreed on is that our grains are infested with chemicals. Roundup is sprayed on the weeds, which is then absorbed into the soil which the plant grows in. One of the nasty chemicals in Roundup is Glyphosate. This is a poison that is in the plants that we digest – not good! To add to this livestock are fed a high grain-based diet, which is then slaughtered, wrapped in plastic on Styrofoam trays, cooked and eaten – increasing our gluten and glyphosate intake.
I encourage you to try a gluten free or grain free diet. If you feel better that is a clear indication that your body prefers it.
Carbonated drinks – to sparkle or not to sparkle?
It all comes down to your gut health. If I’m out I will pick sparkling water over alcohol, juice, tap water….. I don’t go out very often 😬 Again base your consumption on how you feel. I know that after Soda stream bubbles I feel quite unwell – that’s an indication for me to avoid it.
Dairy – for decades we were told that dairy was necessary for bone health and we ate it in abundance for strong bones. Turns out that in Australia we have one of the highest amounts of dairy consumption and the lowest amounts of bone density. An alarming co-incidence…… Cows produce milk like humans do. It’s to fatten up their young and make them healthy. It’s packed full of nutrients for a healthy calf. Not only are we drinking that as adults, we have a lot of dairy in every meal – milk, butter, cheese, yoghurt, ice cream, cream….
By the way “we” doesn’t include me. My grandmother had a dairy farm when I was growing up. One day my mum hand milked a cow and gave me the cup to drink. It was warm and disgusting and was the last time I drank cow’s milk!
Butter and cream are packed full of fat. The experts all agree – fat is good for us, but too much fat will make us fat – clearly!
Cheese is curdled milk, packed with Casein which is an opiate. It’s addictive and can make you sleepy…
Coconut – took the health world by storm as the latest and greatest. It is very high in saturated fat compared to other fats so use small amounts….. as a guide I feel very unwell if I use too much – it’s a good indicator!
Protein – for a long time we were fed (excuse the pun!) the belief that our protein must come from animal flesh. Animals don’t naturally have the protein we need in their flesh. They eat plants and build it which we then eat. It’s entirely possible to bypass the middle man (or cow, pig, chicken, fish) and eat the plants yourself, getting your protein direct from the source.
Despite all the guidelines I would suggest that you use your own intuition as a guideline. Be inquisitive, be curious. Question the beliefs you have around food – where did the belief come from?
It’s your body and we can no longer blindly assume that governments and corporations have our best interests at heart. Be a critical thinker! How does your body feel when you are eating? How does it feel afterwards? Do you feel good, positive, energetic, happy? Or do you feel heavy, sleepy, lethargic, sick, guilty?
Your body needs to love the food that you are eating not the quick fix euphoric high but a long-lasting feeling of wholeness and good health.
When it comes to food I have a high amount of discipline. I am not easily swayed to pick foods that do not fill my body with optimal nutrition. Stop rolling your eyes! I know that most reading this are now thinking I am boring and my food is limited and restrictive. For me it is quite the opposite. My freedom comes from my discipline. My discipline means I wake up every single morning feeling energised and excited about the day ahead – that s my freedom and I love it!
Remember, everything you do today impacts the life you lead tomorrow, so make your decisions count 😀