I have experimented with many dietary theories over the past ten years and throughout it all I have struggled with making sure I get all the nutrients my body needs as well as guilt and feeling hypocritical whenever I started eating foods outside of my dietary label/theory. There are 3 concepts that have helped me build a guilt-free, sustainable, healthy and loving diet.
BIO-INDIVIDUALITY is the idea that every person’s diet is unique. Your personal diet is based on some constant factors – blood type, ancestry, gender – as well as some fluctuating factors – the season, age, location, physical activity level, weight, life events. Your diet is going to look different day to day, month to month, year to year. Some dietary theories may work some of the time for you but they may not. Be open to a fluctuating diet by listening to what it needs. Do not let trying to uphold dietary theory override what your body is telling you that it needs.
THE 90/10 DIET helped me gain more freedom in my diet than trying to aim for perfection. 90% of the time you eat for your healthiest self and 10% of the time you eat what you want, give in to cravings, celebrate and indulge. I am an even bigger fan of the 80/20 approach which you can use depending on goals and life circumstances.
Now, let’s talk about being “CHEAGAN,” aka a cheating vegan. Most of the time I prefer to eat vegan. However, it was not entirely sustainable for me due to living in a new country and culture as well as missing out on vital nutrients. I’ve added back yogurt – where better to do that than Greece – and eggs because I was low in protein. When my body craves meat during my cycle because my body gets low in iron, I’ll eat some meat. Or when some family members prepare a special meal with meat and cheese, I no longer refuse because “I’m a vegan,” but I accept with a grateful heart and open belly, because a little cheese is good for the soul. Because of this “cheating” aspect, which is really just honoring what you’re your body needs and wants, you will have more freedom in what you decide to eat. Your diet does not need to fit any dietary theory but your day-to-day needs.
THE TAKE-AWAY: your diet is going to change and fluctuate throughout this year and throughout your whole life. Ride the waves! Your body needs different foods at different times – listen to what it is telling you. We are animals, so health is innate in all of us. We are also humans, and one of the best parts about being human… celebrating! Make 10 or 20 percent of your time away from striving for your “perfect” diet, because really, there is no perfect diet except the one that best supports your health, life and goals.
If you made it this far in my blog and if you are looking for help around any of these areas – figuring out and exploring a diet that is right for you, finding your bio-individual diet or dealing with guilt or negative feelings around eating – I am offering YOU, my beloved, devoted reader, a FREE coaching consultation. SIGN UP for your FREE session by e-mailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sending you love and support on your journey,