10 Food Rules for Optimal Health
Let me ask you some questions:
1. Are you feeling overwhelmed and frustrated with trying to uncover the truth behind which foods and supplements are healthy and beneficial?
2. Are you confused by which diets provide you optimum health? You hear vegan is the way to go, yet yogurt has health benefits. You read how salmon is a superfood, but then your best friend tells you it’s full of mercury. You’re seriously about to crack as you get overloaded with all the information and “health washing.” You are left confused and find it hard to stick to anything because your mind is constantly changing. Sound familiar?
3. As you buy into all the superfoods, supplements and health crazes, can you not help but ask yourself, “Do I really need this?”
I was once that girl that ate a high protein, low carb and low fat diet. I then dabbled in food combining, veganism, raw and pretty much every other food phenomena that hit the news. I also spent a fortune every month on supplements and so called superfoods like goji berries, Noni juice, fish oil, spirulina, chlorophyll – you name it – and I tried it. And then one day as I was taking my ten different supplements, sipping on my coconut water and planning my daily meal, I couldn’t help but ask myself, “Do I really need to be doing all of this?” Along with being ridiculously expensive and time consuming, it was making me a little mental. I would spend hours obsessing over what I would and would not eat, wasting important hours of the day in self-hatred because I caved in to a tub of yogurt on my newfound vegan diet.
The answer that came to me was this: humans survived just fine thousands of years ago without all the multi-billion dollar health products. Like many other people, I had become seduced by savvy multi-million dollar companies to buy into the latest food trends. And let’s be honest, they are just the current trend.
I most definitely believe in supplements and superfoods, as there is a time and place for them all – but keep it realistic and affordable. Ask yourself: “Am I already getting this nutrient from the humble broccoli or carrot that I eat every other day?” And, if after reviewing your diet, you find you are lacking in vitamins, then by all means buy some supplements! Take a blood test to ensure all your vitamin levels are normal.
Finding your own healing diet is a lifetime journey. As you explore all the different options out there, don't stress about it. Just go with the ride and learn, grow and evolve. No one diet or food principle is the secret to eternal health; it truly is different for everyone. There is not ONE diet that has fought cancer; there are MANY diets that have fought cancer. And the common link that these cancer-fighting diets have is that they are jam-packed full of whole foods. Whole foods being a combination of fresh fruits, veggies, grains, nuts, meats and dairy.
The best diet you can go on is one that is full of whole foods – and stick to the very simple principle of the 80/20 rule. Eat 80 percent perfect, and then let the other 20 percent be your guilty pleasures. This gives you the perfect balance of harmony between your mind and body.
When it comes to choosing what wholefoods you want to eat, don't get bogged down in all the new food phenomenon. Stick to what feels right for you. Remember everybody is built different, so there is no right or wrong diet – just listen to your own body, as it will tell you what you should eat. Everything should be eaten in balance, and no crazy obsessions. Just relax, listen to your body and let it take you on its own healing journey. If you obsess too much about what you can and cannot eat, you become mentally drained and unwell. The truth is your diet should be constantly evolving; you should be learning and trying new things all the time.
10 things to get you on the road to optimum health in a non-obsessive manner:
- Eat mainly whole foods
- Eat organic when you can
- Avoid processed and refined foods as much as possible
- Don’t eat too much of one thing (I actually poisoned my body from having to many green smoothies... truth)
- Supplement your diet with multi-vitamins – especially iron and B12 if you’re vegan
- Educate yourself where your food comes from – buy ethical meats
- Educate yourself about what’s in the foods you eat
- Drink 2-3 liters of water a day
- Practice the 80/20 rule
- Don’t be obsessed, still enjoy and savor your food
Next time you feel guilty because you “haven’t been eating this” or you “have been eating that,” remember this: companies are always cashing in on society's need and desire to become more healthier, by selling new health crazes, diets and supplements. The cold hard truth is that your body knows what it wants – learn to listen to it and feed it what it needs.
And when it comes to the “health washing” products, keep an open mind but never lose your perspective. Educate yourself, eat what you believe in, listen to your own body, and find your own healing diet. And most importantly, your body is a miracle in its own right – learn to trust, honor and respect it.