Updated: Sep 29, 2019
(Podcast #4 Transcript)
Have you ever wondered why some people seem to thrive eating a certain way and others don’t For example being Vegan or on the Ketogenic diet. Or maybe you eat foods touted as “healthy” but you still don’t feel good?
What would you do with that extra time and emotional energy if you weren’t fretting about what to eat?
I know that so many of you are frustrated, confused and overwhelmed when it comes to food, and the intention for this episode is simply to provide that starting point.
You’ll discover 5 steps which will give you control to start figuring out the ideal diet for your own unique body, so you can feel awesome and perform at your best. And as you go through each step you get deeper into the personalisation.
The truth is that when it comes to health, there isn’t one perfect diet that applies to all, because whilst we all share the same human design, we’re also unique in various ways. May this please end all the arguing and self-righteousness about the matter of diet.
Before we go into the steps… a note on beliefs
The biggest one here would be the decision of whether to consumption animal produce or not animal produce. No-one can “advise” you on this. Beliefs are personal and not right or wrong, although some people appear to think their beliefs trump others, which is probably one of the key reasons we have so much conflict in the world. Remember people are just doing their best based on their history, where they are currently at and the information & resources that they have available to them. I wanted to share this before moving onto the diet steps because its a very personal thing and it will determine to a degree the things you are going to eat.
Ok let’s get clear on what the word diet actually means. We hear this word all the time and its normally in relation to the latest weight loss diet or faddy diet. The definition of diet is simply: the kinds of food that a person or animal habitually eats.
Step 1 is to eat real food
All Humans on this planet are designed to eat real food that nature created. You know, the natural food without ingredient labels. Food, not products. Humans, especially in the western world have become really disconnected from real food, and id love us to get that connection back. Just making this one change would improve so many peoples lives (and help the health of the planet).
Most of us eat foods which are processed in some way. Foods that fall into the processed category are things like bread, bagels, breakfast cereals, granola, cookies, cakes, ice cream, yoghurts, sweets, crisps, most ready meals and snack bars, and that’s just to name just a few. Basically anything with an ingredients label.
Also it's important in particular to avoid sugar, artificial sweeteners and vegetable oils - all of which tend to be found in processed foods. We’ve come to accept that consuming this stuff regularly is normal, but it really isn't. None of these foods even existed a hundred years ago, and, particularly the super processed products act like poison in the body which once in a while may not cause significant damage. Even I, once in a blue moon, eat processed food, but if we consume it on a regular basis be aware it is slowly damaging your body and mind. Every person should have the right to choose what they do with their own body, so at least if you’re choosing to eat this kind of food you are making a conscious and informed choice to do so. I know many people who are eating foods which they genuinely don’t realise are causing havoc within their bodies and that to me is is an injustice and I really just want people to be informed
Our bodies and brains have been hijacked by the big food companies and it’s time to take back control. We are designed to eat and digest real food from nature. A HUMAN diet.
just as a cow has a diet or a lion has a diet. A diet which we’ve have had for hundreds of thousands of years. And it’s not about calories or points, or sins. I cringe internally when I hear this stuff being used to market is called so called “weight loss diets” but more on this in a future episode.
Avoid counting and worrying about calories. Just eat real food and focus on nutrients instead. Ask yourself how nutrient dense is your meal. And did you know that a calorie is not a calorie? A hundred calories from say an avocado or an egg yolk has a very different effect on our cells than a hundred calories from ice cream.
One of the people I’ve learnt the most from when it comes to food, and one of my favourite humans, is Functional Medicine Doctor extraordinaire Dr Mark Hyman who explains that
“Food is information carrying detailed instructions for every gene and every cell in your body, helping them to renew, repair and heal or to be harmed and debilitated, depending on what you eat”
I actually feel like my soul dies a little bit when I see the “healthy choices” section in the supermarket. Most of it is processed crap, especially the products labelled diet or vegan. One of my friends actually developed type 2 diabetes being on the so called “special diet products because there was so much sugar.
Seriously - next time you’re in the supermarket or food store look at the labels. If the ingredient is not a natural food that you recognise then its not food. Its a processed product. The rebellious part of me feels like collecting it all up and throwing it in the bin whilst screaming in frustration and protest. But thankfully due to all the inner work I’ve done and my daily meditation practice this feeling is fleeting, and realistically I know that the only way to change things is to spread the light and educate others :)
Step 2: The next level is to go for organic and local wherever possible.
And avoid GMO’s.(genetically modified food). From a health perspective chemicals used in non organic food can be really health sapping, and no it doesn’t all wash off with water. This is another big topic but essentially the composition of the food itself changes when chemicals are being used in the food system.
You can also look up something called “the Clean 15” and “The Dirty Dozen”.The clean 15 are the top 15 foods which are the cleanest in terms of non organic and the Dirty Dozen are the ones that have the most chemicals in so they’re the ones to prioritise organic for. So for example I know strawberries are on the Dirty Dozen list so if i want to buy those ill go for organic.
For animal produce opt for: Organic eggs. Wild fish such as wild sockeye salmon or other wild fish. For meats opt for wild or naturally reared grass fed. and without hormones and antibiotics.
Did you know a lot of antibiotics and hormones get consumed by us through eating industrially produced meat - and this also applies to non animal produce too. In fact the farming industry is the pharmaceutical industries biggest customer for antibiotics.
Remember that when we consume food we also consumed what that food consumed - and that’s whether its an animal, or a plant based food. You literally eat what your food ate.
In the UK you won’t find this high quality of animal produce in most supermarkets but a few farms now do regional or uk wide delivery service. And I'm sure that the same applies whichever country you are in.
Also just be aware that just because a food is suitable for a vegan diet does not mean it’s suffering free or positive for the environment. There's actually much damage to life and loss of life (humans and non humans) and negative environmental impact from industrial scale farming and processing of foods like corn, oats, wheat, and legumes (like beans). Theres even now talk of blood avocados (if you’re interested to know more just google it). And then if your food is being flown half way across the world to get to you its not exactly pro-environment.
So if you are concerned about this sort of thing, then simply understand the story of your plate. Choose your food consciously. Ask where’s it come from and how has it been produced.
Choosing organic and local where possible is positive in 3 ways - for our health, for the environment and for welfare
Ok so now we will get more into the personalisation - because whilst we all share a human design and we all need to eat real food, we are all slightly different in terms of our heritage, our gut microbiome, what’s currently going on in our bodies, and what we are looking to achieve. Even in ancient Ayurvedic medicine it’s believed there are different “types” which call for a personalised approach.
Step 3 as a start to peronalisation is to ask how you feel.
How do you feel when you eat certain foods, and what foods are you intuitively drawn to eat. Perhaps ask yourself are you fully in touch with that? Do you consume foods mindfully and take notice how it actually makes you feel?
Next time you’re going to eat, really notice what foods you feel drawn to and when you’re eating, and how you feel afterwards. Perhaps keep a food diary, because when we really start to tap into how we feel when we eat certain foods that can tell us a lot about the foods that are right for us.
A word of caution around intuitive eating. We may be biologically addicted to certain foods - with sugar is the big one here. I used to FEEL like eating granola and pasta and bread and cakes but that was my biological addition to sugar. We can sometimes crave foods that we’re intolerant to. Theres a really science reason for this but just be aware of it. Or we may have past trauma which is driving food addictions. These are different topics that I’m not going to go into here but we will explore in future.
This moves me nicely onto the next point.
Step 4: Testing
With my clients (and on myself) I use DNA testing and gut microbiome testing. For DNA testing I use DNA fit which gives you your genetic blueprint for various dietary factors an example would be your level of carbohydrate tolerance, so how your body reacts to carbohydrates or your level of caffeine tolerance. it can be really helpful to give you that genetic information to guide your food choices.
However what I think is even more important is what’s going on in your current gut microbiome and that’s why I love Viome. Viome tests your gut bacteria and you get insights into the diversity of your gut bacteria, which is a massive indicator of health. Also any bacterial overgrowths and most important for this episode what foods are ideal and not ideal for your personal gut microbiome. With Viome you even get suggested meals and recipes. You can also order direct so you don’t need to pay someone to order it or consult with you. This stuff really is power to the people!
Step 5: is around deeper personalisation in order to optimise
This is really in line with how you feel, your life circumstances and what you’re trying to achieve. This is where you can really start to tweak and optimise if you want to. For example you may want to incorporate some sort of fasting or focus on boosting your brain power and brain health. Or maybe you’re doing physical training or preparing for an event.
Most people will feel tangibly different once they follow these steps. When you’re eating real foods and your opting for organic and local where you can and then you’re personalising though testing and your own intuition you will find that you feel massively different. More energy, losing weight, better brain function. The reason for this is you're eating in the way you’re designed to and you’re giving your body the environment at a cellular level that it needs to thrive.
However If you're still experiencing symptoms whether they be physical or mental then you may need work with a professional. Also food is only one factor. In terms of our health there are lots of other things that influence it.
Another thing to consider is digestion. We are actually not what we eat, we are what we digest & absorb so its fantastic to eat real food organic high quality getting all those lovely nutrients but if we aren’t digesting and absorbing them properly then we are going to run into problems. So, boosting our bodies ability to digest and absorb the food is really important, and yes you guessed it you’ll be learning about this too in future.
I really hope you have found this episode to be of value. If so please do share as you could help to change others lives by doing so. Also if you’re listening on itunes please take a moment to leave a review as this will help spread the word and help others understand what they may get from listening.
You can connect with my via my website www.laurajanebolton.com my facebook page, or instagram. Ill add all relevant links into the show notes. If you’re listening on iTunes then the links
Thank you for listening and have a vibrant day!