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What Foods Do I Eat If I Have Health Issues?

Updated: Jun 26

There is so much information and research out there about what foods we should be eating.  It can be really overwhelming. 


Are grains good or bad?  Is dairy inflammatory?  Should I eat meat?  Do I avoid carbs? 


I don't know about you, but I've been on different diets over the years.  At one point I was a vegan, but that didn't last long.  I didn't eat red meat for almost 30 years.  At one point I cut out all dairy, gluten, eggs, sugar, soy, corn, and peanuts in an attempt to figure out why I was so fatigued all the time.  The restrictive diets were the hardest for me as I tended to revert to eating substitute foods for dairy and gluten which are often times filled with sugar and are highly processed.


If we think back a hundred to two hundred years ago before more convenient processed foods became the norm, what were people eating? 


Most people were either growing their own food or getting it from local farms.  They were drinking milk straight from the cow, making butter from the milk, eating chickens, pigs, and cows that they raised on their farm, eggs from their free-range chickens, fresh fruits and veggies that they grew, homemade bread, oats, rice, root vegetables and tubers.  People who lived closer to the water ate more fish and seafood.  People who lived in warmer climates ate more fruits and vegetables.  The key is that the food was real, fresh, and local.  Meat wasn't injected with hormones or antibiotics, and fruits and vegetables weren't sprayed with pesticides and chemicals.  Foods may have been canned, preserved, pickled, or dried, for thousands of years, but not highly processed like the majority of our food is today.


Many people go on restrictive diets to help with inflammation and other symptoms.  That may help in the short term, but often times that means our body isn't getting the nutrients it needs and can do more harm in the long run.  Grains have been eaten for thousands of years, so why do more and more people have issues with grains and gluten?  Ancient grains like einkorn, millet, quinoa, black barley, and spelt have never been processed through hybridization or genetic modification.  They are typically easier to digest and have a higher fiber and nutritional content than modern grains.  Modern grains are usually genetically modified, not to mention often sprayed with chemicals and pesticides.  So, I think it has more to do with the quality of the grain, rather than the actual grain itself.

    

The same goes for dairy.  The Maasai people in Eastern Africa rely on milk from their cows as a primary staple in their diet.  They however are generally in good health and do not suffer from inflammation related health issues.  They are very active which helps; however, I think there's more to it than that.  The milk they are drinking is fresh and straight from the cow.  They take good care of their cows which graze in the savannah eating grass that hasn't been sprayed with chemicals. I think if their cows weren't well taken care of and eating grass sprayed with pesticides and chemicals, their health would tell a different story.



Another thing to take into consideration is genetics.  Some people (me included), due to genetics are prone to high sulfur levels.  Cutting back or eliminating high sulfur foods for some people is important for overall health. You can learn more about this in my blog post titled What Could Be Causing My Joint Pain, Fatigue, and Brain Fog?  Other people are genetically prone to high oxalate levels.  Even if we aren't prone to high oxalate levels, we still shouldn't load up on oxalates.  We don't want to eat more than our body can detoxify, so it's best to stay away from the foods that contain extremely high oxalate levels (like spinach). You can read more about this in my blog post titled How Oxalates Affect Our Body and How to Detox Them.

        

I have my clients eat a mostly (90%) whole foods diet.  Within the whole foods they can choose what makes their body feel the best.  Some people do better with more protein, some with more carbs, others like more fat.  Everyone is different, so it's best to listen to your body.


I have my clients eat a mostly whole foods diet, because there are times when you want to go out to eat with your family or friends or get together at someone's house.  You can't always control what others are serving.  Putting that extra stress on yourself or dropping your social life because you can't control others, isn't worth it.  


I think the key is to make sure you're getting a variety of mostly whole real foods while taking your genetics and what's best for your body into consideration.  If you can't tolerate certain foods and they trigger a symptom, then stay away from it for now. 


Once your body gets supported with the nutrients you need and you work on imbalances and detox pathways, there's a good chance you'll be able to eat foods you couldn't eat before.


Want more info about healing from health issues?  Click here to sign up for my free video series. If you're looking for a practitioner and want to contact me or sign up for a free 20-minute health assessment, click here to visit my website.                  

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