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December 6, 2013

I'm a nutritionist and a strong believer in the power of vitamin cures. Every week, I see people significantly improve their health and looks just by eating right, which is why I love my job so much.

One of the questions I'm often asked is, "What diet do you recommend?"

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My answer is usually met with surprise:

"If you don't suffer from a specific condition, I do not recommend any specific diet."

Don't get me wrong, I'm not telling people to just go and eat whatever they get their hands on.

I do have some basic principles:

  1. Eat as naturally as possible, i.e. avoid processed stuff and go for simple and real food instead.
  2. Eat as organically as possible and preferably locally grown produce.
  3. Make sure to eat more raw than cooked food and more plants than animals.
  4. Change your diet slowly and never force yourself to do something for which you're not yet ready.
  5. Keep a food diary to find out what makes you feel and look better and what does not.
  6. Walk 10,000 steps every day.
  7. Use common sense!

I know this sounds simple and, of course, I help my clients put together a sensible step-by-step guide.

However, I've found that the simpler the instructions, the greater the chances to sustainably change your diet and lifestyle. We live in a world where contradictory studies pop up every week and even experts can get confused. How can "normal" consumers possibly keep track of what they should or should not eat?

By following my basic principles, my clients slowly but surely cleanse their system and re-discover their innate food navigation system, which tells them exactly what and how much food is good for them.

This navigation system is called "somatic intelligence" and we can all use it effectively, once the signals our brain and body give us are no longer distorted by chemicals and artificial ingredients running through our system.

Of course, it takes time and practice to develop and understand this innate skill, but be patient, ask for help if you need it, and you'll notice changes soon.

Another reason why I do not recommend a specific diet is that I am not only an orthomolecular nutritionist but also a mindfulness coach. Our mind is a powerful tool we can use to achieve the most amazing results. But if we do something which is not in line with our personal mindset, the consequences can be detrimental to our health—no matter how well we eat.

For example, if you love a steak on your plate every now and then I wouldn't do you a favor if I told you to stop eating meat. If a bowl of warm soup is what makes your day in winter, I will surely not ask you to become a raw foodist. If you really want to celebrate your birthday with a piece of sugar-laden cake, do so. When your body is mostly clean, it will automatically tell you how much is enough and what to eat next.

So, like I said, if you don't have a condition which requires a specific diet, there is no need to complicate things.

When you want to live as healthily and happily as you possibly can, keep things simple.

Keep them real.

Keep them natural.

And clean.

Listen to your body.

Follow your mind.

And use your common sense.

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Nathalie Chantal de Ahna
Nathalie Chantal de Ahna

I’m a certified orthomolecular nutritionist with additional training in homeopathy and herbal medicine. I’m also a certified mindfulness coach and studying hypnotherapy, but I’m not telling you this to impress (OK, maybe a little).

What is far more important is this: I went from being a clinically depressed, co-dependent and bacteriophobe diet junkie with an eating disorder (and really bad skin) to feeling and looking great.

At least most of the time, because we all have crappy days — even the people who claim that they don’t. First I ditched diets, doctors and dorky shrinks that were even more useless than they were overpriced.

And then I healed myself, one holistic vitamin hack at a time. Wanna try five of my hacks? Go get 'em. They're FREE!

PS — Check out my Vitamin Secrets and Simply Live Better Cookies, too!