Do you ever feel frustrated because you just can’t figure out what is healthy for you? Or confused because you can’t seem to sort out what is best- paleo or vegan, Atkins or just cutting out dairy? Or the age old “I’m giving _______ up for Lent/the New Year/forever-I swear!!” Or you’ve tried every diet under the sun and can’t seem to reach your goals on your own?
You’re are NOT ALONE!!
Before I became a holistic health coach, I remember having a conversation with someone about how I just couldn’t figure out what was healthy! And I’ve been interested in, studying, and experimenting with food for almost my whole life, and even I hadn’t figured it out. All I knew was that vegetables were always good.
Nutrition is confusing for a couple of reasons:
1. No two people are the same. In my health coaching practice, I incorporate the crucial idea of bioindividuality, meaning one person’s food is another person’s poison. No one diet works for everyone so you must do the work and the experimentation to find out what’s best for you. This is best done with the help of a professional.
2. Publishing companies will always try to sell you the next “quick fix” diet: So while the Primal Blueprint works for Mark Sisson, and while his life’s work is backed up by a lot of science, there are just as many studies refuting the information at the same time. Or maybe the peanut butter diet (yes, it’s real) was great for a vegan who needed some extra saturated fat and protein in their lives but probably isn’t great for the waistlines of many others? My point is that these things work for some people but not for everyone and despite the fact that there are thousands of diet and nutrition books on the market in the US today, we are fatter than ever. Strange, right? No-we are more confused than ever and we need personal support-not necessarily more information.
3. Having a healthy lifestyle is not the same as dieting. We live in a quick fix society-“lose 10 pounds in 1 week!” and other similarly ridiculous claims permeate the information we take in on a daily basis. Let’s get real- you CANNOT lose 10 pounds in 1 week or even 2 or 3 and keep it off. Our bodies just don’t work that way. I guarantee you will gain it all back and then some, if not soon, years down the line. You must change your lifestyle and it won’t happen overnight but it can be enjoyable, empowering, and totally life changing-it’s what I do with my clients!
“So… Jenna?! What do I need to eat??!!”
I think Michael Pollan nailed it: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”
Let’s break it down:
-Eat FOOD. Real food. Things with less than five ingredients and even better, foods without an ingredient list. No more processed food. Eat the food as it comes out of the ground-whole, un-fragmented, unchanged (with the exception of some cooking when appropriate)
-Not too much: We live in a country where almost half of the population (or is it over half-I’ve lost track) is overweight or obese. We clearly don’t know how to feed ourselves anymore. Furthermore, the overweight and obese are actually malnourished-and by malnourished, I mean their bodies are starving for the real nutrients they’re not getting. Put whole, nourishing, nutrient-dense foods into your body and watch your life change.
-Mostly plants: Many studies are coming out today that prove the unhealthy nature of many animal foods, not to mention the atrocities that are committed against the poor creatures in slaughterhouses/dairy farms, etc. The fear and misery that goes into the animals affects their meat and their secretions. This fear and anguish enters your body and will affect you.
Plant-based lifestyles are healthier, more nutritious, more sustainable for our planet, and more ethically sound.
Choosing an 80% plant based diet can be extremely cleansing if you’re not ready to give up meat or dairy. If you choose to continue to eat meat and dairy, choose pasture-raised. It’s much better for you and much better for the animal.
Also, it’s crucial that you understand your unique bioindividuality. This is best done with the support of a health coach, someone who specializes in helping their clients making lasting lifestyle change that works for them!
If you’re still confused, that’s where I come in. I offer free health consultations and I also do 6 month programs with my clients. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and take action to help yourself change for good.
You can also join my free newsletter for more exclusive information like recipes, cooking tips, yogic wisdom, discounts on my programs, and whatever I feel is relevant and most useful for you and my clients. Sign up here: http://mad.ly/signups/60092/join
Jenna Pacelli is a Holistic Health Coach studying at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She coaches yoga practitioners and techies in the San Francisco Bay Area and all over the world struggling with energy levels, stress reduction and weight management. With a focus on aligning their lives with their values, her clients create lasting change and fully embodied health and wellbeing.
Jenna believes that by creating health and wellness at the physical, emotional and mental levels, it is inevitable that joy and a deep understanding of one’s purpose follow.
Top photo credit Brian Metcalf