Here is an all too common and painful scenario: You have been on a particular diet for 2 months now. You are eating all the “right” foods. You are watching how much you eat, and you are taking out the things that you have been told can cause digestive issues. You are dairy free, gluten free and eating organic, but you still don’t feel well, you don’t have energy and you are feeling discouraged.
What to eat and how to eat can be two of the most confusing things that you can encounter when trying to figure out what is best for you. There is so much information out there: gluten free, paleo, raw, vegan, vegetarian, small meals lots, big meals less often … it goes on and on. How do you know if the way you are eating is supporting you? How do you know if what you are putting in your body and your digestive system is the best thing for you to eat?
What is important to realize, but is not talked about very often is, every body is different and varies greatly in what your nutritional needs may be based upon your body type, your environment and the stage of life that you are in.
Just because you are eating healthy food, does not mean it is the right food for YOU and your digestion.
Whoa. That is big, so I will say it again: Just because you are eating healthy food, does not mean it is the right food for you and your digestion.
I have a client, “Anna”, who had terrible digestive disorders. She decided to eat “clean” and took allergens out of her diet and moved into a completely raw diet. On the raw diet of whole fresh organic foods, her symptoms did not alleviate. In fact, she became even more constipated and gassy, she couldn’t sleep through the night, awaking with crazy dreams, her skin became dry and flaky and she lost too much weight for her frame.
She came to me, completely frustrated because she thought she was doing everything “right” but her symptoms were getting worse.
After an evaluation of Anna, I was able to explain to her that what she personally needed was cooked, heavy, moist foods, rather than the cold, dry light foods that comprise a raw diet. A raw diet is a healthy way to eat, for some body types, but not for Anna’s.
Once she understood herself and what she needed, she was able to shift the diet to match her type, and she was successful in controlling her symptoms of discomfort.
In fact, she was able to eat with ease.
How do you know whether the way you are currently eating is the best way for you in this moment?
First, step away from all the materials and people around you that are telling you about “the right way to eat”.
It is so easy to get caught up in all the diet fads and trends that are being spoken of these days. You see someone’s before and after pictures and hear their story, and you think, if it worked for them, it should work for me. However, what they need may be vastly different than what you and your body require.
Second, take a deep breath, come to center and intend to listen to the signs your body is giving to you. How do you do this? By becoming clear on how you feel.
Third, become clear on how you feel by asking yourself the following questions: What is my energy level? How is my sleep? Am I eliminating regularly and easily? How do I feel after I eat?
If you are tired, not sleeping well, your elimination is not happening every morning on its own and you have gas, bloating, indigestion or heaviness after you eat, then your body is very clearly speaking (dare I say, screaming?) at you that something needs to change. Right now.
Regardless of how this particular way of eating has worked for others, there is something about it that is not supporting your particular needs.
Your body speaks to you. If you can take a moment to step back and listen, it will give you all the information you need. If you aren’t feeling well, sleeping well and full of energy, the food you are consuming and the way you are getting this food, most likely are the cause. Understanding this is the first step in discovering what you can change so that you can start eating in the way that feeds YOUR particular body and needs.