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Which Diet is Right for Me?

Are you wondering, "Which diet is right for me?" While some people thrive as vegans, others do best on a traditional diet. There’s lots of information to sort through and much is misleading and confusing at best. We hope this will clear up a few misconceptions.

Assortment of diet books.

Here’s how today’s popular diets weigh in:

 

Mediterranean Diet

 

This timeless classic will never go out of style. Pretty common sense. Real food for real people. No processed food and the facts are in; it gets good results.

Mediterranean Diet, plate of healthy Mediterranean plate of food.

Eat This:

  • Lots of fresh, organic vegetable

  • Organic eggs

  • Nuts & seeds

  • Organic extra virgin olive oil EVOO

  • Variety of herbs & spices as seasonings

  • Wild-caught fish

  • Lowfat, unpasteurized dairy foods, like yogurt and cheese, generally from goat’s milk (in small amounts)

  • Whole grain rice & pasta, quinoa & oats

  • Fruit, preferably for snacks or dessert

 

Don't eat:

  • Processed foods and anything else that isn’t on the list

 

 

Paleo Diet

 

Best thing about this one? It removes ALL processed food from the diet.

Assortment of Paleo Diet food.

Eat This:

  • Eggs & honey

  • Raw nuts & seeds

  • Meat

  • Fruits & vegetables

  • Healthy fats & oils such as coconut butter

 

Don't Eat:

  • Grains

  • Legumes

  • Dairy


When you choose a Paleo diet you’ll consume more fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals (provided your foods come from organic sources). I have reservations with the Paleo diet in that it tends to be heavy on meat. Meat in this country is mostly unhealthy: antibiotic laden and replete with large amounts of growth hormones. GMO’s and industrial chemicals in the animal feed add to more toxins that burden the body. We recommend you peruse local organic farms, co-ops and US Wellness Meats.

 

Note: A typical American diet with excess meat can lead to an acidic body. Bodies that are chronically acidic can result in allergies, autoimmune diseases and many other “dis-orders.”

 

 

 

Vegan & Vegetarian

 

While somewhat similar, vegans refrain from consuming all animal foods. Vegetarians will often eat eggs and dairy and sometimes fish.

Reni and Scampy at the beach, for the newsletter.
Vegan and Vegetarian vegetable assortment.

There was a long stretch in my life where I chose not to eat meat. My influences as a teenager were powerful, and while no one in my immediate circle was vegan, I was an ardent reader and curious about the earth and animals. In 1972 I learned the importance of eating lower on the food chain by Frances Moore Lappe in her book, 

Diet for a Small Planet. The horrors of the meat packing industry in Upton Sinclair’s, The Jungle, haunted me for decades. Years later I relocated to the Midwest where for a mercifully brief time, my nightly slumber was interrupted by the horrifying odor of singed hair and burned flesh. That smell was more than enough to turn me off to the practice of eating meat for years. 

 

Today I eat meat, albeit very small amounts and low on the food chain. The data is in; a diet of mostly organic fruits & vegetables nourish and detoxify the body like nothing else. 

Keto Diet

The keto diet can be very beneficial for people suffering from chronic conditions or those who’d like to be healthier.

It focuses on minimal carbohydrates, moderate amounts of protein and high healthy fat consumption.

Keto Diet.

There are several variations of the keto diet. We strongly suggest you consult an authority when following this effective, yet specific diet.

Dr. Joseph Mercola’s book, Fat for Fuel, is well regarded by physicians in the wellness community, and is a great place to begin if you decide this may be the diet for you. 

Fat for Fuel

While much of the book centers around diet (raising the amount of healthy fat and decreasing net carbs is what pushes your body into burning fat for fuel), it also reviews a variety of other strategies to improve your mitochondrial function, such as cold thermogenesis, photobiology, detox, exercise, the dangers of iron overload and the pernicious influence of electromagnetic fields (EMFs). (From Dr. Mercola's website)

Eat This:

  • Avocados

  • Cheese

  • Coconut oil

  • Fatty fish

  • Fruits: Limit your fruits to those low in sugar. Blackberries, blueberries, grapefruit and limes or lemons.

  • Ghee (clarified butter)

  • Grass fed meat

  • Leafy vegetables such as: kale, spinach, broccoli, collard greens

  • It’s important to consume only low-net carb vegetables.

  • Olives and Olive oil (make sure they are third-party certified because most olive oils are diluted with unhealthy vegetable oils)

  • Organic pasture-raised eggs

  • Seeds such as sesame, hemp, and pumpkin

 

  • Raw nuts such as: almonds, macadamia, pecans, walnuts and brazil nuts  

 

Don’t Eat This:

  • Starchy foods

  • Sugary foods

  • Processed foods: Virtually anything in a can, package or bottle. Processed food is loaded with sugars. Sugars are hidden behind 60+ different names in industrial processed foods.

  • Processed meats

  • All Junk foods

  • Cooking or vegetable oils

  • Meats & Meat products from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs)

The Keto diet offers healthy fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals (provided your produce comes from organic sources).

Source meat and dairy from local sources if possible. Conventional meat and dairy is antibiotic laden and replete with large amounts of growth hormones. GMO’s and industrial chemicals in the animal feed add to more toxins that burden the body. We recommend you peruse local organic farms, co-ops and US Wellness Meats.

Traditional Diet

 

Traditional Foods: Gently touched by Western civilization

Probably the best I have seen so far. I say the best because of the study and investigation behind it and how it confirms what many have none for decades; we have evolved slowly over time and the human body thrives on real, whole foods.

In the early 30’s a dentist by the name of Weston A. Price, studied healthy populations around the globe. What he found most interesting was their excellent dental health. Amazingly, these people DID NOT brush their teeth! Hmmm. How were their diets so different from ours? Namely, the absence of processed foods in the form of refined flours, oils and sugar.

 

Not only did they have healthy straight teeth, and robust physical bodies, they were resistant to disease.

Nourishing Traditions cookbook follows the guidelines of this diet lifestyle.

Healthy Traditional Diet gently touched by Western Civilization.

Eat this:

  • Fresh, organic fruits & vegetables

  • Raw nuts & seeds

  • Butter & other unpasteurized dairy

  • Organic Eggs

  • Fish & Meat

  • Soaked or fermented whole-grain products

 

Don't Eat This:

  • Processed food

  • Farmed seafood

  • Factory farmed meat or eggs

  • Any food that is not organic or on EWG's DIRTY DOZEN list.

 

 

Do you suffer with allergies? Consider going on an elimination diet to determine the foods you may be sensitive to. Elimination Diet Resources by Whole Life Nutrition

 

Whatever your diet, remember to view your ‘food as medicine.’ For as the father of medicine so eloquently stated,

 

 “Let food be your medicine, and medicine be your food.”

-Hipporcrates

Resources & References

Weston A. Price Foundation

World’s Healthiest Foods 

Nourishing Traditions Cookbook

The Whole Journey

Fat for Fuel

 

Consult your functional medicine doctor or integrative medicine doctor before beginning any new diet lifestyle.

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