After writing about overall balance about two weeks ago I felt inspired to dive a little deeper into Nutritional balance and the stigmas associated with trying new or different nutritional approaches. I so often hear flash judgments about an individual’s food choices. I get it at the office from co-workers, or people who don’t know me well, I hear it in the gym, or out and about walking around as people debate where to go for dinner. With developing allergies and other biochemical changes in my body throughout the past 6-8 years, I’m no stranger to various nutritional approaches. Chances are of the healthy wholesome (no shortcuts, cookie, or self deprivation diets here) approaches out there I’ve tried most of them. Unfortunately, we are hard on each other about what or how we eat, failing in some cases, to recognize the power of unique approaches to nutrition. Truth is as long as we are fuelling our bodies with what they need to feel strong, energized and healthy, then who are we to judge one another on what or how we eat?
After giving up certain things over the past few years I noticed that every time I tried something new at least someone had something to say about it, either criticism, praise or thinking they too would be cured by the same solutions. All of which has made me wonder if anyone’s focus for changing his or her nutritional approach is anything but jumping into a miracle nutrition solution, of which there is no one answer.
I really do hope that individuals are starting to recognize the power of nutrition to help their bodies to thrive, the ability of nutrition to heal and are looking to see if they have more energy or are able to eliminate any allergic symptoms like gas and bloating, find better sleep, or reduce anxiety. I’ll be first to admit I’ve been guilty of jumping on the new “it” nutritional approach hoping for miraculous changes, but I’ve learned that I always end up adapting whatever approach I’m trying to get my body to fully benefit. This leaves me to wonder how many of us know what our own bodies really need, and with the exception of some healthcare professionals what other individual’s bodies need? Probably not, case in point I’m going for allergy testing (YES FINALLY) over the next few weeks. So then knowing everyone needs a unique nutritional approach for their unique bodies why are we so quick to judge others nutritional approaches? What if we were to change the dialogue around food, how and what we eat. Lets release the nutrition judgment and start to support the opportunity to find the fuel and approach to consuming said fuel that works for our own bodies, goals and lifestyles.
Some of you might say but I don’t agree with a nutritional approach I see. I know, I hear you, there are approaches I myself don’t agree with and I’ve guiltily judged those approaches myself. I’ve thought of the individuals trying them: they eat too much, too little or have such an unbalanced diet. I’ve come to realize though, that I don’t know their reasons or intentions for eating the way they do unless I ask. And aside from the sensitive nature of nutritional approaches, I also don’t know if they have supervision of a healthcare professional. If you know the person well and you see them struggling or better yet thriving with a new nutritional approach it may be worthy to ask them about their experience and intentions. Let’s encourage each other seek wholesome healthy nutritional approaches that work best for THEIR own body.
So here’s to finding what works for our own bodies, and to recognizing that this may fit into a label for example the recently popular Paleo,or it may not. I think its important to remember that we are human and fluctuation in nutrition will change as we do. Let’s remember the 80/20 rule of thumb too, for example continuing on with the Palaeolithic approach, Diane Sanfilippo didn’t deem her Paleo book Practically Paleo for no reason! At some point in your life there will likely be changes in what or how you eat. If you are currently having tummy troubles or just want to give a different nutritional approach a try go for it! Just make sure you’re doing so for the right reasons and be sure you’re not missing out on valuable nutrients that your body needs.
Remember EveryBODY is different, a unique ecosystem that needs specific nutrients depending on where you live, how you live, any autoimmune, hormonal abnormalities, diseases and or otherwise abnormal tendencies (goodness knows we all have something our bodies need a little help with). Let’s shift our focus to eating for what makes our bodies run balanced, energized and full of life by recognizing that what works for me might or might not work for you. Your body has its own thing going on, so lets honor it and its needs. If your body isn’t thriving that switch it up!