I practice a HOLISTIC approach to health and wellness. I have been trained in the concepts of bio-individuality and primary food at the Institute For Integrative Nutrition.
Bio-individuality is the idea that there is no one perfect way of eating that works for everyone. One persons diet could be poison to another. There is no “one diet fits all” and that is why fad diets or strict eating plans often fail. Each person has unique nutritional needs at all ages and stages of life.
Primary food addresses other factors in our lives that often get overlooked but contribute to whole body wellness. Primary food would be healthy relationships, regular physical activity, a fulfilling career, and spirituality in your life.
I support the paleo lifestyle and Weston A. Price teachings regarding the benefits of sacred traditional foods like butter, bone broth, and lacto fermented foods.
I believe a REAL food diet that focuses on eating natural, unprocessed foods can benefit all and is a great place to start. The food choices you make with this in mind will depend on how much you exercise, how healthy you are, and if you need to lose weight.
FOODS TO FOCUS ON:
- Meat: Humanely raised organic grass fed beef, pastured pork and chicken along with other game meats such as bison and venison.
- Fish: Salmon is superb. Wild-caught fish is best
- Eggs: Organic pastured eggs are best.
- Vegetables: Organic is best or any and all vegetables and lots of them!
- Fermented Vegetables:the beneficial bacteria in these foods act as detoxifiers removing toxins and heavy metals from our bodies.
- Fruit: Organic is best or any and all fruit, especially berries!
- Nuts and Seeds: raw unroasted/unsalted is best. Soaking or sprouting nuts will make them easier to digest and absorb.
- Raw Full Fat Dairy: Cheese, butter, heavy cream, kefir, milk, buttermilk, yogurt. If you are going to eat dairy it should be grass-fed/clean/raw/unprocessed. See this blog.
- Healthy Fats and Oils: Unrefined coconut oil, pastured butter, extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, cod liver oil, and expeller-expressed flax oil.
FOODS TO AVOID:
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Artificial food dyes
- Artificial Sweeteners: Sucralose, Saccharin, Aspartame, Cyclamates and Acesulfame Potassium.
- Gluten containing grains: especially WHEAT, rye, and barley. Gluten containing grains need to be soaked or fermented to break down and neutralize phytic acid in order for the body to be able to properly digest them.
- Trans Fats: found in many packaged and processed foods under the name “hydrogenated” or “partionally hydrogenated.”
- High omega-6 seed and vegetable oils: soybean, sunflower, grapeseed, corn, safflower, cottonseed, and canola.
- GMO (genetically modified organism) foods and food products
- Diet/low-fat/low calorie products, bars, and shakes.
- CAFO (confined animal feeding operation) meats and processed deli meats.
- Processed foods: AVOID THESE AT ALL COSTS. If you can’t understand the ingredients or if it looks like it was made in a factory don’t eat it.
FOODS OK IN MODERATION:
- Raw honey
- Date sugar
- 100% pure maple syrup
- Beans/legumes: If you are going to eat beans try to soak them yourself or buy BPA free canned versions.’
- Non-gluten grains: rice, oats, quinoa, and many others.
- Dark chocolate: at least 70% cacao
- Red Wine: with no added sugar (Watch the wine and chocolate if you are trying to lose weight!)
Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Try to make your own flavors by adding in watermelon and lemon or cucumber and mint to add variety. Also plain sparkling and kombucha tea are good choices.
The Integrative Nutrition Food Pyramid and what I like to follow emphasizes the importance of high-quality vegetables, fruits, complex carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats and water. One added in feature is primary food, which are these life style factors: relationships, career, physical activity and spirituality. These address much deeper levels in your life than food.
To complete the full picture of optimum health and wellness we must nourish our bodies with REAL food that works for us individually. We must also nourish the four forms of primary food and this combination will truly make our lives much more fulfilling and extraordinary!
If you have any questions on nutrition, fitness, or anything health related, please reach out and we can chat! Please use this form and I'll be sure to get back to you very quickly.
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Photos Courtesy of Yamille Branch Photography & Lesley Mason Photography