I don’t subscribe to one diet. I just listen to my body, and I definitely don’t follow whatever the new craze is these days (i.e Paleo shmelo). For every one theory you follow you will find, just a click away, another one, just as strong ,conflicting that theory., and after studying more than 100 diets at nutrition school I know that there isn’t one answer. There is NOT one size fits all. There is, however, what fits YOU. I remember looking fondly at my Grandpa, who lived to a healthy 98 years, and laughing at how the billion-dollar diet and fitness industry got us all wrapped around its little finger.
We all have 24-hour access to the world’s most sophisticated lab for testing how food affects our body and our health. Where is this lab? We’re living in it. By learning to listen to it and develop an understanding of what foods it needs and when it needs them, we discover what’s best for us. That doesn’t mean that if you’re craving ice cream you should give yourself the first shitty ice cream that you see, but you can definitely find the best quality non-refined sugar ice cream and feed your body that.
If you doubt this connection to your body, begin by acknowledging that your body is highly intelligent and sophisticated. Your heart never missed a beat and your lungs are always breathing in and out. You can trust your body. It has evolved helpful instincts to keep you alive and well. Animals don’t read nutrition books. Their bodies tell them which plants to eat and which to avoid. They heal themselves when they are sick, usually by resting and eating very little until sickness passes.
We have the same instincts. In fact I watch our 2yr old and how his body reacts to certain foods to see how it makes him feel. Now that he is older and can communicate its even easier since he actually says “Ouch mommy, ach in my tummy” and I know that this thing or that doesn’t feel good in his digestive system. Or even now, in my advanced pregnancy, I keep a vegan diet, as I did with my first one, why? because my body just can’t stand animal protein right now. So I listen and follow.
Many of us ignore the messages our bodies are sending. Dark circles under the eyes signal exhaustion. Constipation and bloating are signs that something you are eating or the way you’re eating it, is not appropriate. We ignore these massages until they become unbearable and that’s when we go to the doctor for medications.
Give yourself time to explore your body’s lab and you’ll be surprised by its responsiveness, sophistication and intelligence.