I have touched on diet many times over the years. Diet is absolutely the foundation of health and wellness and it is absolutely necessary to eat a nutrient dense diet in order for our body’s to function properly. But, what is a healthy diet? Really. Standard American Diet, Mediterranean Diet, Paleo Diet, Vegetarian Diet, Vegan Diet, Pegan Diet, Plant Paradox Diet, etc.? There are so many options and so much confusion. The confusion comes from the US Dietary Guidelines, biased research studies, and propaganda films and books.
The fact of the matter is that humans can survive off of nearly any diet, but what interests me is not only survival, but optimal health. You can achieve optimal health through self-care, which includes a healthy diet. Remember that your exposome, everything that you are exposed to from in utero to your death, accounts for 85-95% of all disease. Your genetics are the rest.
Remember that your exposome, everything that you are exposed to from in utero to your death, accounts for 85-95% of all disease. Your genetics are the rest.
Diet is also not a one-size-fits-all thing. Diet is dictated by culture, region, religion, and also by food allergies, and of course, food preferences. However, the basics, regardless of all of these factors, is the same- especially considering a nutrient dense diet. So, I am going to lay out the basics for you, then leave it to you to adjust based on your own individuality.
The following foods are the most nutrient dense, with ample amounts of macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fats, as well as a wide variety of micronutrients.
- Vegetables – 6-10 servings a day. Preferably organic, locally grown, and fresh. Frozen is second best.
- Fruits- 1-2 servings a day. Preferably organic, locally grown, and fresh. Frozen is ok, canned is only ok if there is nothing added.
- Meats- including light and dark muscle meats, organ meat, skin and tendons. Include red meat, wild game, poultry, seafood, shellfish, eggs, etc. Preferably grass-fed, locally sourced, pasture-raised, organic.
- Fats- organic, pasture-raised butter, tallow, lard, extra-virgin cold-pressed olive oil, avocado oil, and unrefined coconut oil.
- Fermented foods – organic fermented vegetables, unsweetened organic yogurt and kefir
- Fresh and dried herbs and spices
The next category of foods are still healthy and full of nutrition, but should be a smaller portion of your diet.
- Soaked and sprouted lentils and beans
- Soaked and sprouted nuts and seeds
- Soaked and sprouted gluten-free grains
- Raw dairy products, preferably from pasture-raised cows
- Natural sweeteners in small amounts: maple syrup, honey, molasses, date syrup, coconut sugar, Stevia, sugar alcohols
- Dark chocolate
Finally, in very small quantities, you can include:
- Refined grains (gluten-free or otherwise), including breads, pastas, baked goods, and cereals
- Nuts and seeds that are not sprouted
- Whole grains that are unsprouted
- Pasteurized, organic dairy products
If something you eat is not on this list, it is very likely that I did not include it because it does not have enough nutritional value to deserve a place in your body. I really do try to remember that my body is my temple, which is sometimes easier than others. But I really feel that it is so important that we value ourselves enough to eat really well, and to say no to the foods that will not serve us. Reward yourself with a healthy diet. Love yourself by taking care of yourself.
This diet really will provide you with the necessary nutrients to live a healthier life. In addition, of course, to all of the other self-care things we deserve to do for ourselves, you will be satisfied, happier, and healthier if you adopt these dietary guidelines!
If you need help fine tuning your diet, or making it feel doable for you, contact me and I can help! Eating healthy does not have to be a confusing, complicated venture. It can be delicious, satisfying, and make you feel great!