I have been on internet restriction for a few weeks for reasons I will not bother you with. Yesterday, I followed a link from an email. Sadly, that one link led to another and another and yet another and soon two hours were gone. All of these sites were actively telling people what not to eat to regain health. Taken all together you basically had nothing left to eat.
Most of these sites also had a pre-packaged plan to change your life for as little as $19.95 and 21 days. They were selling hope and I was ready to buy. Sure some people will lose those unwanted pounds, balance their hormones and rid themselves of mood swings and acne after following the plan but many will not. What’s worse is that many of those that do succeed will most likely fall back into their old ways.
Of the sites I reviewed in those few hours, only one was by a nutrition professional. The rest of the sites were by people desperate to heal themselves. And they did and they are sharing their wonderful stories. As for the data and logic, some were well researched and some were not. Remember that for every study saying yes there will be one that says no…none the less, the plan they created through trial and error worked for them.
So what is my point? My point is that you can drive yourself crazy with too much information and it can leave you paralyzed with indecision or even send you in the wrong direction. We are each unique and therefore we need a unique plan. Sure, it generally never hurts to try a paleo diet or give up gluten or dairy but you would be wise to track your food in a database to ensure that you are covering off on all your nutrient needs.
And speaking of food and food groups, here too we need to keep in mind that we are all unique. What is bad for one may be fine for another and what worked at 20 may not work at 50 and that 8 weeks is not a life time but that is what we are doing, eating for a life time. We need to stop buying hope and trying 8 week plans and come up with a diet that will work for us, day in and day out for the long haul. Remember, diet is a way of life not a short-term fix. The following is some food for (quick) thought:
Eat the best quality you can
Choose whole foods (the ones without an ingredient label)
Make as much of your food as you can. Cooking really does matter
Isolates of anything are not whole and therefore lacking in cofactors – be aware and minimize
Legumes and grains (glutinous or not) contain phytates – they are nature’s defense mechanisms – if you can, it is beneficial to soak, sprout or ferment but stressing over not is far worse than consuming phytates. Take note, plan accordingly and move on
Fermentation adds flavor and probiotics, makes nutrients more bioavailable and the food easier to digest
Polyunsaturated fats are highly unstable, easily destroyed, and best to keep to a minimum. For the Omega 3s, use only the best quality sources