I know I should be eating “whole foods”, but what exactly are they?
We’ve heard from the paleo group that legumes and dairy are a no-go. From the carnivores, that leafy greens and other veggies are “toxic”. And that fruit can be “too high” in carbs, from the keto group. So what is actually true and best practices?
Per usual from us, we’re going to tell you, it depends.
It depends on who you are, what your health looks like, what your goals look like, and what you prefer! Here’s a deeper dive into how to help figure it out for yourself. Our 4 tips to help you find the “optimal diet” for YOU!
- Start with the broad category of “whole foods” – aka anything not in a package or with an ingredient list: Quality meat, eggs, wild caught fish, veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, grains/legumes, raw or grass-fed dairy products. THEN, start to take notice of what foods help you feel your best. Think energy levels, cravings or satiety after a meal, digestion, and then performance (with workouts, daily focus, and even sleep!). Pay attention to what kinds of foods, amounts, and the time of the day you eat them, that help you feel your best. You can start with a simple food journal, track your mood and energy levels throughout the day along with what you eat and drink and when you move your body.
- Then look at what your symptoms are if they go deeper. Things like autoimmunity, IBS, depression, etc. These higher level negative symptoms/diagnosis will often require you to be a bit more restrictive with food categories up front, so that you can decrease inflammation and help to heal your body. At least for a period of time. For example, if you have PCOS or Thyroid issues, removing gluten and grains from your diet has been known to help decrease symptoms significantly. If you have a mental disorder, studies show a higher fat, lower carb diet can help. And for some with an imbalanced gut, eating more pro and prebiotic rich foods can help diversify your gut microbiome.
- What are your desired outcomes, and do you have a time frame? Do you want to lose weight, have better energy, feel less bloated, gain muscle, etc? Then we can see what types of foods and amounts will get you there. We recommend you ditch the time frame if at all possible, and if you want long lasting results. There is no finish line if we are seeking sustainable health 😉
- Lastly, your diet is only as good as the one you actually eat (consistently). So definitely factor in what you enjoy. For example, do you prefer higher carb/lower fat and feel great with that digestively? Great! Do that! Just make sure 80-90% of the carbs are whole foods (mostly veggies or fruits).
If you’re understanding this yet still feel overwhelmed on where to start, hire a coach, or book a clarity call with us so we learn who you are and what you want, and give you tangible advice from there.