You stare at the food on your plate.
Youve got a nice spread of broccli, cheese, salmon and a glass of water.
But wait…. you read just yesterday that cheese was bad for you, and that salmon contains mercury.
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So you google “salmon benefits” an up pops another article explaining the rich omegas in salmon.
“Okay…… so is it good or bad?” You say out loud to yourself in exasperation.
Your food starts to get cold as you debate weather you should even eat it.
Why the heck is food so damn confusing!
The topic of nutrition is a complex intricate thing. It is also a topic that is highly triggering to many.
This is mainly because, as uniquely designed humans we subconsciously don’t want to be told what to eat. We have an innate desire to listen to our own judgment.
We also have a desire to rely on our own taste preferences to determine what is the best way to eat.
This is not by accident, but rather our “bodies wisdom” which is an internal mechanism intelligently designed to lead us to the food sources that would be most beneficial for our individual blueprint.
The issue however is that on a daily basis we are constantly being bombarded by literature, articles, and podcasts explaining to us the perfect diet and the best way to eat.
As a health geek, this is the type of thing that I can literally nerd out on all day long. However, I too have found myself in a state of confusion when it comes to differing opinions on nutrition.
One thing that is for sure, is that I believe that being biased to any one way of eating (other than clean) can limit your view of what may actually be good for you to consume.
At the end of this post, Ill explain some daily simple eating rules to live by to ensure your eating habits are optimized.
Plant-Based vs The Meat Eaters
So let’s start with getting into possibly the largest debate in the nutrition world: Plant Based vs Meat.
In one corner of the ring, you have the plant-based only advocates and in the other, you have the meat-eaters.
Both camps are funded and have valid research that fuels their claims.
So what are the arguments?
The Plant Only Eaters
The plant-based only groups argue the following in terms of the best way to eat …
- The act of consuming meat has a negative effect on your overall vibration as you are essentially consuming dead matter that carries hormones responsible for inducing fear at the time of the animal’s death.
- Consuming only plant-based foods has been used as a way to detox from toxicity and reverse diseases or illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, etc.
- Plants contain a source of non-heme iron
- Lower in calories (Although newer research suggests that the calorie source matters more so than the actual calorie. )
All of those are very effective arguments, but lets visit the other corner of the ring.
The Meat Eaters
Meat Eaters argue the following in terms of the best way to eat..
- Meat is a complete protein, therefore you do not have to worry about food combination or inadequate protein consumption.
- Amino acids are readily available in meat.
- Foods such as chicken, bone broth, fish are readily available sources of collagen, the bodies most abundant protein responsible for strong hair, skin, and nails. (there are a few plant-based versions of collagen as well but may not be as accessible if you aren’t eating a wide variety of veggies).
- There are certain vitamins such as “heme iron” that are more readily absorbed or bioavailable from meat sources.
- High quality grass fed or pasture raised meat contains an abundance of nutrients such as B-12, folate, iron that are more bio available than in plants.
- High quality meat can assist with fatigue and brain fog due to the bioavailability of the energy inducing nutrients
Solid arguments for both right?
Overall many of us have not been taught how to listen to our bodies let alone proper nutrition.
What we have been taught is how to eat according to the Standard American Diet (they call it SAD for a reason) which has now been linked to high rates of illness and disease.
When you connect the dots to big pharma, it’s no wonder that being sick is a billion dollar industry.
This is why it is highly imperative that we begin to take ownership of our health and research the foods that we tend to consume on a daily basis.
The research I have personally done consists of information gathered over the last five years in regards to nutrition alongside studying the ideologies of over 20 different holistic nutritionists and doctors.
Basically, I did the work of compare, and contrast so you don’t have to.
To give you a small window, below are some of the Nutritionists, Doctors, and Holistic Practitioners I have studied and researched. Feel free to look into their methods and studies as well.
Cross-referencing each nutritionist I was able to pull out some consistencies that I saw across the board as well as some points that were not consistent that ultimately alluded to the best way to eat.
Common Ground Findings, What was Agreed Upon
Screen shot this so you can refer back to it.
- Avoid or limit gluten if you have trouble digesting or a lot of bloating afterwards.
- Hydrogenated oils are bad
- Too much processed Dairy could be the culprit behind your allergy flare-ups, acne, and sinus infections. Raw diary sources have proven to be much more beneficial than homogeneous sources.
- Highly Processed foods are bad.
- Processed or refined sugars are bad.
- Invest in Stainless steel cooking pots/pans along with glass storage containers.
- Whole nuts such as almonds, cashews, walnuts are highly beneficial.
- Maintaining a balanced gut microbiome is essential to elimination (#2)
- Daily intake of fiber works to prevent constipation.
- All Nuts and legumes should be rinsed or sit in a bowl of water for several hours and drained before consumption to remove the surface toxins.
- Whole seeds such as chia, hemp, or flax are highly beneficial.
- Ancient grains are good (quinoa, millet).
- A wide variety of Mushrooms prevent abnormal cells from replicating aka cancer growth (anti-angiogenic). Mushrooms also interfere with fat cells from growing.
- Fruits are good and are powerful at detoxing ( yes the sugar in fruits is actually good and will create more “electricity” in the body as it is digested differently than processed sugars)
- Many fruits we eat today primarily the “seed-less” varieties are actually hybrids so you want to opt for the seeded watermelon versus the “seed-less” Keep in mind, seed-less fruits were manufactured more so for convenience.
- Vegetables (acid or alkaline) are still good. However some people have oxalate sensitivities (the compound in leafy greens that can cause issues)
- Eating slowly helps to get maximum benefits from foods as you are opening up the cell walls and breaking down and releasing the nutrients fully.
- Corn is largely a GMO crop so purchase organic only.
- Rice may contain high levels of arsenic, make sure it is been tested.
- Eat until satisfied and not FULL or overstuffed
- Breakfast should incorporate a protein source in order to start the day feeling fuller longer
- Plant based or “fake meat” is highly processed.
- Consuming cacao is an excellent way to support your menses and detox daily. Read more about how here I reduced my period cramps with this one coffee replacement.
Up for Debate
Below are the things I have found to have a difference of opinion across nutritionists.
Some of these were a bit shocking…
Any Nut butter that is made with a lot of seed oils in it should be consumed less often.
All oils should be limited. Oils causes a rapid flux of calories to the bloodstream that increases appetite. Oils as they are responsible for increasing appetite, lead to over-eating. If using avocado or olive oil, 1 tbs is enough when cooking.
Pro – Contain anandamide which increases your ability to have sound sleep
Con – They are acid-forming. However, it is also worth noting that your stomach already regulates the PH of food so that it can be broken down.
Rules to Live by
In conclusion, proper nutrition can be confusing to understand when we are being bombarded with viewpoints from different sources.
Follow these simple but effective rules for the least confusing benefit.
1. Avoid a diet high in processed foods, refined sugars, and bad fats.
2. Always check the labels for anything you are buying to verify how much sugar or saturated bad fat is in it.
3. Keep it simple. If the label has a long laundry list of ingredients, it’s likely highly processed.
You would be surprised at the large number of processed foods that you wouldn’t suspect available in the grocery store.
4. Listen to your body for what it needs.
If you are low in a particular vitamin or mineral, you may crave a particular food. Supplementing with a high-quality daily multivitamin is a good way to ensure you get what you need.
5. Don’t beat yourself up if you have a doughnut, cookie, or pizza every now and then.
However, be discerning with your cravings. If you are craving sugary foods or fast foods often, that could signal either an imbalance in your diet or emotional eating and not your body’s wisdom.
Balance is also key here, and it’s unhealthy to force and punish yourself. If you eat clean the majority of the time, it’s totally ok to treat yourself. I personally enjoy pizza or cake from time to time 🙂
6. If you are opting for plant-based or vegan life, be mindful about those highly processed plant-based alternatives. Your body is optimized to recognize foods in their whole form. In my opinion real meat is far more beneficial than the “fake meats”.
8. If you choose to consume meat, make sure it is sustainably pasture raised and grass fed high quality meat.
9. Eat dinner early enough so that your body isn’t using energy to digest food overnight, ideally between 5-7 pm (4-hour window until bedtime). Sleeping while your body is still digesting inhibits the repair process.
10. Incorporate GBOMBS every day. GBOMBS are Greens (Kale, Spinach, Chard, Bokchoy, etc), Beans, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries, Seeds (Flax, Chia, Hemp). Sprinkle these foods every day into your salads, breakfast, soup, or dinners.
11. Make sure each meal is a balance of healthy protein, healthy fat, and carb for the best way to balance your blood sugar and keep you satiated.
As per usual, do not simply take my word for it. While I have done the hard part of researching many differing nutritionists and compiling results, it still up to you to be accountable and do your own independent research and fact-checking.
You must be discerning with any health information and decide whether there is underlying monetary interest behind a claim or honest health benefits.
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The Best Way to Eat When Nutrition Advice is Confusing!
December 29, 2020