Is There A Perfect Diet?
Whether or not you believe it, any given day could be your last day here on earth. I'm not saying you should go buy a Maserati on credit and join a hedonism group, rather just hit the pause button and take a ride with me to reality-ville. Its time to shed the heavy sweater of confusion and break down the logistics of the brain-food connection. Do you know how powerful your diet to mind connection truly is? Picture the hulk on cocaine and add a few more pounds to him- you'll get about halfway to the efficacy of hormones in our neuro-pathways.
To say that “you are what you eat” is beyond an understatement as we are all aware of the facts when it comes to cellular metabolism and diffusion of nutrients from the mouth to the blood. Your body is made of cells and water, collagen and proteins- the brick and mortar of our very being is found in branch chain amino acids. What is the best naturally occurring source of branch chains? Optimal sources include organic free range grass fed beef, chicken, eggs, liver and seafood. Add in some vegetables, roots and tubers for starches and you've got a lifetime of nutrition.
We're all just little miracles walking on this earth and our SA nodes pulse to the beat of their very own drum depending on what rhythm we fuel them to. Make no mistake, our food IS our fuel, and our fuel is what lifts our spirits or stops us cold in our tracks. It can elevate our moods, make us feel poorly when not eaten correctly or even make us risk our necks just to get a fix. To really understand the power of food and our food choices, you first have to understand the power of our choice.
Choice consists of the mental process of judging the merits of multiple options and selecting one of them. While a choice can be made between imagined options (“what would I do if …?”), often a choice is made between real options, and followed by the corresponding action.
In the last 10 years I've made a lot of choices when it comes to food- some good and some very bad. I've been through all the fad diets, meal programs, calorie cards and dogma. I've seen people eat 20 bananas a day and shun meat because it once had a soul. Every week there is a new “diet plan” on the Internet made for the sole purpose of increased profits as it caters to our instant gratification in the limbic brain. These misleading plans continue to activate our reward system towards sugar, all the while emptying wallets and dancing on the synapses of our primal desires. The bottom line is that humans are not used to eating the amounts of sugar the USDA says we should.
Whether or not you've felt a change in your diet coming around the bend, this may be the perfect time for you to stop and think about WHY it is you even want to diet. The first 3 letters of the word diet pretty much spell out what you want to do when you're on one. No person was meant to live by a set of rigid structured guidelines- after all we're only human! Dieting can be one of the worst feelings ever, it's why I don't do it and never ask a client to either. There is only one path to better health- remove everything and start over from a clean slate. That means behaviors, food choices, friend groups, surroundings, exercise and thoughts.
So what is the right way of eating? Are we all just Orthorexia Nervosas? Do you care more about the virtue of what you eat than the pleasure you receive from eating it? Does your diet socially isolate you? Have you witnessed binges and binged yourself after cutting what you thought you didn't want? Facing facts when it comes to the way we eat, any nutrition program should be for life and it should be measured on how alive it makes you feel. These food phobias, cravings and negative emotional anchors associated with “right or wrong” foods are literally killing our progress in this wellness journey. Stop the insanity! (Remember Susan Powter with a shaved head?)
In short, we are nothing more than a series of chemical based choices that rely upon one simple yet unforgiving fact-
“We are all a raw product of evolution. The human mind has no defense against the biology of our physiological desires. The modern life we've grown to find comfort in has shifted the aging process in our bodies more in the past 100 years than in the previous 10,000.”
We make choices everyday that literally, no pun intended, shape us. Sifting through the health information out there can be so daunting and very exhausting that most in need of help just bounce around from practitioner to practitioner until they feel good about a diet. What ever happened to trusting and feeling good about yourself? Its still there trooper, you just have to take the time to listen to what you feel is right. When was the last time you meditated about what you really wanted for yourself? That is a perfect place to begin.
I want to make it clear, so that we can sit across the table together right now, that none of us are perfect. In fact we're all perfectly imperfect and its perfectly okay to be you!
Aren't we great at creating negative emotions when it comes to food sometimes? In light of a body composition goal, we may choose to create so much unnecessary pressure to be perfect. Perfect only exists on a movie screen and this idea has been pushed by society and the disillusionment of Hollywood. Ever since we have known what it is to be perfect, especially if you grew up watching television, there is pressure to strive for it. Its like a pulse beyond your own heartbeat that somehow can make you act funny, do crazy things and be totally unauthentic- all in the name of perfection. Well, just let it go, as its only going to make you stressed and stress equals blood sugar aka “I want to eat a box of Oreo's.” (Do they come in boxes?)
We are all sentient beings with dreams, goals aspirations and passions. There are going to be times in your life where you have to stay up late, can't eat clean and possibly drink sugar water. (I hope not) This is the continuum, the ebb and flow and the breeze we call life. The beauty in this life path is finding our own individual, unique and rewarding internal balance. Instead of taking the 30 day paleo challenge and trying to be as perfect as you can, have fun! Make it a hobby and do your best to live with vitality while making educated choices based on case history and science for a month and see how great you feel! Sounds better doesn't it? It may take you a couple tries to become compliant but think of how empowered you'll feel as well. Picture your body the way you want to see it and live in that moment now!
Creating your future has never been easy, but if you choose to not repeat the past then success and balance is yours. The true antidote for failure is success. To achieve health success is to walk that lifelong journey made up of lessons and failures en route. Unless you keep striving to increase your knowledge about the way food makes you feel and the science behind it, you are destined to fail.
Do your best, get plenty of rest and don't be let down because you ate cookies, had a taco or went off your program. You're a human being with desires and feelings that can be swayed by thousands of distracting inputs like stress, sleep family, people and environment. Make it your passion to eat foods that have the highest nutrient density, lowest inflammation and highest satiety production you can find. For me, in my practice and with those I care about, I am eating towards a Paleo diet program. I don't eat to be in a group, I could care less about getting a t-shirt made and I sure as hell don't want to be labeled. What if I choose to eat vegetarian for a month because I'm listening to my cells? Food is what we eat to live not live just to eat!
You and I reserve the right to change our opinions based on what we learn when we deem necessary. Is there really any other report card more valuable than the way you feel after eating? These are the true questions we all need to be asking ourselves when it comes to food. Let the science of behaivor and your body language do the choosing from now on.
Make the choice today to eat real, live, properly farmed and harvested foods. Take the opportunity to eat for your health in mind, spirit and your body will follow. Make it your passion, your hobby or your interest to eat clean again. You may fall down but life wouldn't be worth living if you didn't have to fight for what is rightfully, amazingly and eternally yours- YOUR HEALTH
“A life lived that matters is not of circumstance but of choice.” -Steve Kroschel
Questions? Start here