One person’s food is another person’s poison. We all have different reactions and craving toward food. This is why it is important to get to know your body and what works for its particular make up. I don't believe in sticking to one particular diet for the rest of your life, that's not my style. What I do promote is learning about the specific needs of your body, and that will change as you age.
These four dietary theories are wonderful places to start when trying to figure out what works for you by understanding what gives us nourishment and what causes irritation in our bodies. You can take back control of your physical and emotional well being by creating your own personal road map of nutrition.
Once you understand what makes you feel good and what truly nourishes the body you have, you become the captain of your vessel.
When you gain the sacred knowledge of understanding what works best for your body, a beautiful spark of balance emerges that radiates from the inside out.
Ayurveda is a personalized approach to health. It grounds itself on two important principals; one being that the mind and body are completely connected and the other being that nothing has more power to heal and transform the body than the mind. This is why meditation is so essential to this ancient philosophy that originates from India.
Some key components of Ayurveda, besides meditation, are getting plenty of rest, tuning into your body through exercise, strengthening your digestive system, eating a colorful and flavorful diet, and living in tune with nature. These beautiful and completely natural tenants of living are just a few of the things I love about Ayurveda. The philosophy also puts you into 1 of 3 different categories called doshas. These doshas best encompass your particular body/mind type. Once you figure out what your personal dosha is, you can educate yourself on the things that heal your particular constitution (inherited or permanent physical and emotional characteristics) and the things that would potentially agitate it.
2.) The Blood Type Diet
Thanks to new science, there are strong connections to your blood type and the influence it has over your health and well-being. Knowing your blood type can help you be aware of foods you may be more sensitive to, your susceptibility to disease, and how your body responds to stress.
Like Ayurveda, the blood type diet gives you a personalized look at what works best for your particular body. This is not something I want or expect you to stick to in a strict manner. Look at it as a guide that can help you understand your body better. Knowing what works for your body and not sticking to a strict diet that claims to get you fit fastis a way to align yourself with the essentials that your body craves and ultimately needs. The problem with most diets it that they leave us feeling deprived and that deprivation is coming from a deep place. Go further and really try to understand what your body needs.
Like the previous two dietary theories, I don’t expect you to stick to a strict vegetarian diet. That being said, a diet that is rich in nutrient dense fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts & seeds is an excellent way to maintain optimal health. Michael Pollen, author of the Carnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food as well as many other food related books, says
“eat real food, mostly plants, and not too much.”
When experimenting with going vegetarian, Mr. Pollen’s mantra is a great place to start. Just begin by adding more vegetables to your meals. You may start to notice you crave them more and more and start to crowd out the large amounts of meat and processed food we tend to ingest. Experimenting with dietary theories is the only way to find what truly works for you specifically. This might lead you to a path of complete vegetarianism or it might just make your plate more colorful. Either way, your body will thank you for nourishing it with whole foods it was made to consume!
4.) Sugar Free Diet
The negative effect of sugar on the body is a large list that seems to keep growing. These effects include storing fat in organs like your liver, pounding away at your heart, prepping your body for diabetes, zapping your energy, causing you to become a sugar junkie (the stuff is totally addictive), and inhibiting your brain from creating the feel good hormone dopamine which can lead to feelings of sadness and desperation.
Removing sugar from your diet on any level is a gift to your mind, body & soul; it is not the kind of fuel you want to be running on. That’s not to say you can never have another doughnut or piece of cake; I believe life is about living and experiencing the wonder around you and sometimes that calls for a sweet treat! I do believe, however, that we have become too accustomed to massive amounts of sugar we were never meant to consume.
It’s important to get it out of your system, re-calibrate your body, and re-create your relationship with sugar in a healthy and balanced way.
Like I said in the beginning, I don't expect you to strictly follow ANY of these diets for the rest of your life. Instead, I want you to change your perception of a "diet" from a strict rule book you have to follow to more of a vast array of nutritious insights you can add to your tool box of health. Find what works for you, be flexible and gentle with yourself, and know that this isn't a perfect science. Instead look at your diet as an experience and a lifelong dialogue you will have with your body. This is where true healing can begin.
Did you like learning about these theories? Any other dietary theories that interest you? I'd love to hear what YOU have to say. Please leave a comment to keep the conversation going!