Over the past few years, I have spent quite a bit of time thinking and learning about food. There is a lot of debate over the optimal diet. Is it vegetarian, vegan, paleo, low-carb, low-fat, gluten-free, sugar-free, raw? With proponents of each diet toting its health benefits, it is enough to confuse anyone, including me. But with all our unique biochemical makeups, is there really a single system of eating that is best for every person on this planet? Can we really say that a vegan diet is better than a paleo diet 100% of the time, or vice versa?
I personally believe that there isn’t a universally optimal, one-size-fits-all diet. I also don’t believe in counting calories or in restricting the diet of fats, proteins, or carbohydrates. I believe in food. Real food. I believe in eating from the earth. I believe in finding what works for your body.
Although a lot of debate over food exists, there are a few rules that experts generally agree on:
- Focus on vegetables. This should be your staple at every meal.
- Eliminate processed foods and refined sugars.
- Eat a healthy mix of fats, carbohydrates and proteins.
- Eat real, whole foods from the earth. Local and organic are best!
If we look at our ancestors, their diets were based on their environments. People who lived in the snow laden north survived largely from animal fats and proteins, while people of warmer climates consumed more plant focused diets. Both groups thrived and chronic disease was minimal. Although their dietary makeups differed, the common element was that people always ate what nature provided – real food.
Today, many of us are fortunate to have a large variety of foods available. This large variety allows us to eat selectively and to follow different diets. I’m a strong believer that as individuals, the best thing that we can do for our health is to do the work to figure out what foods work best for our individual bodies. We should create our own templates based on what feels right, rather than following a diet that someone else tells us is right. Take yogurt and whole wheat for example. Greek yogurt contains a ton of healthy probiotics but if you have a sensitivity to dairy, eating it will cause you more harm than good. Whole wheat has great fiber content but if you have a gluten allergy or compromised gut lining, it can wreak havoc on your body.
So how do you figure out what foods work best for you? Elimination diets are the gold standard in determining your bodies individual needs. When taking on an elimination diet, you eliminate foods that are common allergens for a period of three weeks. After the three week purification period, you reintroduce foods one at a time to determine if you have a reaction to this food.
I believe in food. Real food. I believe in eating from the earth.
If you are interested in learning more about cutting out processed foods and eating from the earth, the Brown Rice Detoxification Diet is a great place to start.
What works for me
What we decide to put in our bodies is a very personal decision. Through an elimination diet and trial and error, I have found that the diet that works best for my body is a gluten-free, dairy-free, plant-focused diet in which I have eliminated processed foods and refined sugars. I focus on getting a balance of healthy fats, carbohydrates and proteins, including small amounts of high quality animal proteins (you can read more about My Wild Beautiful Kitchen Essentials here). Basically, I focus on all real foods apart from foods that have gluten and dairy products because an elimination diet has shown me that these things don’t work for my body.
All of the recipes on Wild Beautiful Life are gluten-free, dairy-free and use natural ingredients. For mains, I use tons of rice, quinoa, beans and veggies. For baked goods, I use dairy-free milks and gluten-free flours. I also use low-glycemic natural sweeteners, especially in baking, to minimize sugar intake. I love food, so for me, there is nothing quite like creating recipes that taste good and make you feel good. It’s such a win, win!
Focus on eating whole foods to nourish the body and good health will follow.
Eating for Cancer
Eating from the earth is the best protocol that anyone can follow but when your body is sick, more drastic dietary changes can be used to help your body to heal. Since research shows that cancer cells consume sugars at a high rate, experts recommend restricting sugars from the diet, including fruits and carbohydrates. The Gerson Therapy is a food protocol specifically designed for those diagnosed with cancer. I would encourage anyone touched by cancer to take a look at the Gerson Therapy, as well as eating tips from Kris Carr and Dr. David Servan-Schreiber and to consult with a naturopath on specific things that will work for you. Check out the Resources page for details.
The Morale of the Story
Eat from the earth. Eat real food. Do the work to find what works for you. It’s not about diet or deprivation. It’s about changing your attitude towards food. Once you realize how the good stuff makes you feel, you will start to want more and more of it and the good will eventually crowd out the bad. Focus on eating whole foods to nourish the body and good health will follow.
Keep Shining — Kate☀️
*Note: This information is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.