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Thursday, May 3, 2012

My Evolving Philosophy about Different Daily Diets

The longer I live and observe and experience, the more I stick to my long-held belief that diets don't work--unless they entail a permanent lifestyle change. Rather than going on a diet to lose some poundage and a few inches to look better for an upcoming event, we should be changing our lifestyle to be healthier and feel better.

Those last two words are everything--and I'm not talking about a temporary feel-good from comfort foods. If we don't feel good--feel healthy and have energy--something is wrong and something needs to change. Often this change can happen with what we eat on a daily basis. I remember wondering as a teenager how the majority of my peers could eat candy all day (added to a donut for breakfast and/or pop and a candy bar for lunch) and feel anything but crappy. I still don't understand how they functioned!

Now, with all my interest and research into health and nutrition I have talked with many people about the way they eat--the raw food diet, the Weston A. Price Foundation philosophy, vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, non-dairy, low-carb, the blood type diet, etc--and each one, including me, is passionate about what works for us. We all have our own philosophy and swear by it because of the positive (sometimes life-changing) experiences we have had by changing our lifestyle to meet a particular daily diet. And there are so many elements of all of these "diets" that are good and healthful. What I am coming to believe is that there isn't any one way of eating that is perfect or right for every person. This makes sense to me because there are so many different body types and we all assimilate vitamins and minerals differently. For example, just within my own little family, as I have mentioned before, while my husband, second daughter, and I don't want/need red meat all the time, our first daughter needs a small regular dose every couple days to stay healthy. And while some people in my extended family gain weight by eating a small amount, others can eat huge amounts without gaining anything. Metabolism, level of activity, amount of stomach acidity--there are so many factors!

My belief is that as long as we're basing our nutrition on the fundamentals as given in scripture, and on natural, whole foods, we won't go wrong in our quest for our own personal right diet.

So my evolving philosophy is: When people get serious about improving their health, they must figure out what daily diet makes their own body feel and perform optimally. Usually this is a gradual learning process that may take years, but it is an enlightening journey and one that can lead to greater happiness and satisfaction.

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