People are often confused when it comes to what they should eat for good health and wellness. There are so many dietary theories out there claiming that they work the best for everyone, such as the Atkins, Mediterranean, Raw foods, Macrobiotics, Traditional , and carb-cycling. Mind-boggling? Confusing eh?
I would like to introduce a concept that I learned from reading Integrative Nutrition. It’s called bio-individuality. This concept proposes that every person’s diet is unique to himself/herself, and that “one person’s food is another person’s poison.” A person’s diet is determined by his/her ethnicity, society, geographical location, weather, climate, and most importantly, beliefs.
You are what you eat. Think about that for a moment. Ever seen a big, muscular guy? He usually has a mean, aggressive attitude. What animal does his characteristics resemble? A rooster? A bull? A beast?
Now compare the macho-man to a vegan. Ever noticed the physique and demeanor of a vegan? If not, check out Frank Medrano on YouTube. Vegans are generally more composed, relaxed, and graceful in personality. And what living entity do these characteristics describe? Plants, roots, and trees right?
All animals and plants contain life energy. Their life energies are transferred to us when we consume them. If you eat meat from animals (chicken, pig, cow, etc.), then you will assume their life energy and embody their characteristics of strength, power, and aggressiveness. On the other hand, if you eat kale, spinach, bok choy, or a sweet potato, then you will assume their life energy and embody characteristics of calmness and grace.
This assertion is just a generalization. Not all carnivores are aggressive and mean, and not all herbivores are calm and grounded. We are omnivores so we consume both meat and plant to find the right balance between both energies.
Japanese people eat sea vegetables, fermented foods (e.g. miso, soy sauce), and seafood while Alaskan natives eat seafood such as wild salmon, seal, whales, and walruses. Hawaiians eat a variety of tropical fruits such as coconuts, bananas, and wild berries while Russians eat buckwheat (kasha), sour milk products, potatoes, and meat. Americans generally eat fast and processed foods. Body builders usually eat meat and dairy. Mohandas K. Gandhi followed a vegan diet because of his spiritual beliefs.
The point is there is NO right way to eat. Everyone embraces a unique bio-individuality.
One thing that our ancestors from the different regions of the world shared in common was that they all ate natural, whole foods, with little to no processed foods. Choosing natural, whole foods is perhaps the best piece of advice that one can take away from all of this. However, we have to put things in perspective and realize that we live in a fast, modern pace of life now with all sorts of technology and machinery used to process our foods, unlike the old days.
With few exceptions, such as LaraBar, the majority of food products out there are heavily processed. Many people opt for the quick, convenient food choices to complement the modern lifestyle. You have to do your homework.
“Everything that we see is a shadow cast by which we do not see.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
So why whole foods?
They contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and other nutrients that all support optimal health, just the way nature intended it to be. On the contrary, processed and highly refined foods are stripped of their essential nutrients, usually the fiber, oils, micro-nutrients, and trace minerals. Food companies then add back synthetic nutrients through a process called fortification.
This is absurd and makes no sense, wouldn’t you agree?
Food processing is done to increase palatability and shelf life, at the expense of the naturally occurring nutrients of whole foods. Obviously, this is unnatural and will eventually thwart one’s effort to naturalign oneself if s/he eats mostly processed foods.
Each of us are gifted with the power of choice, and we are responsible (response-able) to use it or continued to be fooled by these food companies.
Do you walk the talk? What is your diet James?