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When you hit upon a way of eating that seems to be working for you, you tend to want to continue that indefinitely. Come on admit it – we all do this. Maybe you became a vegetarian and then lost those last stubborn pounds. Or you chose a low carb or ketogenic diet and experienced not only effortless weight loss but got your blood sugar back to normal range and lost the brain fog. It doesn’t matter what the change was, if it worked, our tendency is to continue doing it this way – forever. Unfortunately, that usually backfires very quickly.
But that is not how our bodies or life itself works. Everything is cyclical! We have the seasons that change, we have night and day, the phases of the moon. Our lives begin in infancy usually fed on breast milk or formula; then we are introduced to solids. We move through the stages of being a baby, toddler, young child, tween, teen, young adult, adult and senior and in each stage our bodies and needs (nutritional and otherwise) change accordingly.
You would think it was absolutely ridiculous for someone to say that since eating pureed foods nourished you perfectly as a baby, it should be your preferred diet throughout life.
But we tend to label ourselves and then get stuck in a pattern that doesn’t necessarily provide all we need in a new stage of life. We forget that every one of the 50-75 trillion cells in these amazing bodies is renewed and replaced periodically. Each type of cell has its own life span. For instance your taste buds are replaced every 10-14 days which is why I say in Today’s the Day that you can retrain them with the first 2 weeks of clean eating! I’ve read that our allergies, sensitivities and tastes change about every 7 years. That makes sense to me as well.
Our ancestors did not have all the conveniences (and hindrances to health!) we have today and so their diet patterns went through periods of feast and famine. This is what our bodies were created to do.
Dave Asprey who wrote The Bullet Proof Diet says it well:
“It’s almost like doing interval training. You don’t have to be in one state forever. In fact, your body doesn’t like to be in one state forever. That’s why we sleep and we wake up. We have all these different activities, why should you always be in one metabolic state?”
So my first point is that we have to be nutritionally flexible and willing to make changes when our bodies indicate it’s time.
For instance, most of my early life I was definitely closer to vegetarian than anything else. I loved, craved and functioned very well on vegetables and grains. I easily maintained a healthy weight and felt wonderful. In my early 40’s I began gaining weight even though nothing else changed. I also found myself craving more animal protein. So I actually eliminated the grains and starchy carbs most of the time and focused on clean protein and veggies and the Today’s the Day program was born. I got back to my healthy weight easily and have maintained it for over 20 years.
While you may choose to be a vegetarian or vegan for philosophical reasons (animal cruelty, etc.) I believe you still need to be open to what your body may be asking for if you want to be truly healthy. Pay attention to how your meals make you feel. Are you satisfied or constantly looking for a snack because lunch or dinner just didn’t satisfy you? Do you feel off balance? Your hormones depend on the proper vitamins and nutrients at each stage of your life. Are you always tired? Having digestive problems?
Just as you don’t need to eat exactly the same number of calories each day, you can vary the composition of your meals to include different foods. (Finish here)