I am about to reveal the most perfect diet. The one that will help you lose the last 15 pounds, the one that will cure all your health problems, the one that will work for every single person on this planet.
This perfect diet: Does not exist.
There is simply no such thing as a cure all diet that can possibly address every health issue, or help us all achieve our ideal weight. If there were such a perfect diet, it would be recommended by every governmental body in the world, and we would all be on it already, all eating the exact same thing, all feeling great, and there would no longer be obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s or anything else that threatens our well-being. We would all already be healthy and happy. But the reality is that many of us are not happy and healthy, because there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all diet.
If you look around the world, national governmental agencies can’t even come to a consensus on what is considered healthy. Granted, there are some political issues at play. and in some cases these dietary guidelines might be a bit… adulterated… but that is a separate issue from what we are discussing today. The bottom line is that if all the major nations in the world can’t even agree, it isn’t a surprise that regular citizens are left wondering what is good for them.
Raise your hand if you were one of the people who clicked on this article because you were hoping for the holy grail, the one diet to rule all the diets, the perfect diet that will make you fit and healthy and perfect. It’s okay if you raised your hand, because we have all been there at some point, desperate to find something that will help us reach our goals.
The good news is that there is a diet that will work for you. The bad news is that what works for your neighbor, friend, coworker, brother, cousin, etc, might not work for you too. I know people that are vegan and loving it, and others who are on a meat heavy paleo diet. I have friends who are gluten free and others who completely avoid processed food – making everything at home from scratch. I also know those who follow some combination of the above. None of these people are right, and none of these people are wrong. They are all eating what helps their body work in the best way possible.
The reason diets don’t work the same for everyone, is that all people bring a different set of variables to the table. When you are working to find a diet that is right for you, it is helpful to remember that many different aspects of your life have an impact on what your body really needs to be healthy. Your family history and genetics, your ethnic heritage, your hormones, your home life, your stress level at work, your eye color – okay I am kidding about that last one, but you get the point. People maintain their own specific bioindividuality, and this is why the perfect food for you might be somebody else’s poison.
If you stop treating foods as Good or Bad, and start looking at foods as if they are good or bad for you, it becomes easier to investigate and find out what actually works for you.
I happen to eat a completely organic diet – everything in our home has the USDA organic seal on it. As you might already know, I was suffering from a great many health problems, but they are virtually nonexistent now that I eat this way (I also lost 13 pounds, which was a nice unintended side effect). I didn’t start eating a 100% organic diet all at once though. I started by adding a few organic items to my diet, and I noticed my symptoms were improving. I gradually added in more organic items over time, and I just felt better and better, until one day I was eating all organic and my symptoms were gone. We will get into the potential health benefits of choosing organic options in a future post, but the key takeaway here is that I listened to my body and I adjusted accordingly.
I don’t count carbs or calories or fats or proteins. I just eat what my body tells me it wants. Sometimes that is a juicy cheeseburger. Sometimes that is a HUGE salad. Sometimes it is nachos or garlic chicken with veggies, and sometimes it is gluten free lasagna made from sliced zucchini instead of the long pasta noodles. Sometimes I just want a brownie or chocolate milk, but I listen to what my body is asking for, and I have never felt better in my entire life.
As a general rule, we could all probably benefit from minimizing our consumption of heavily processed food, sugar, caffeine, and alcohol, but beyond that, there is a lot of room for experimentation. You can reach your weight goals. You can improve your health. In the end, we all just need to grab a magnifying glass and Sherlock Holmes hat so we can start being the clever food detective in our own “healthily” ever after story.
SIDE NOTE: If you happen to be looking for organic, vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free prepared meals for when you don’t have time to cook, I’ve got the perfect place for you to get your hands on the most delicious dinner you will literally ever eat in your entire life: Green is Good By Kate. No, I am not exaggerating in the least. Go check out the website, start following their Facebook page so you can see what new items are available this week, and stop in to grab something before they sell out.
*I am not a doctor and I don’t play one on TV. This post is meant for informational purposes only and should not serve as a substitute for medical advice or treatment of any medical condition*