Updated: Jan 22
Disclaimer: I am not a nutrition or medical professional. I am a person who has progressively fine-tuned her relationship with her body, learning how to feed and move it to optimize its wellbeing. I am someone who feels better in her 40s than she ever felt in her 20s or 30s. I am a woman with a full-time job, two businesses and a marriage, who has made lifestyle adjustments that have yielded increased capacity to focus, better memory, higher productivity, creativity and joy in her life.
What I am is a Certified Professional Coach, experienced in helping her clients create strategies to optimize their lives. I am someone who wants my clients, friends and family members to live their best lives and achieve their most desired goals.
A well-nourished body is a healthy body. Food serves as medicine and sometimes as poison.
So, what is the perfect diet?
The perfect diet is the one that provides you with the energy, endurance, clarity of mind to do everything you want to do with your life.
Yeah, yeah….which one is it? Is it Keto, Paleo, Atkins, Vegan, Low Fat, Low Carb, or Counting Macros?
It is all of those diets and none of those diets. As I said before, I am not nutritional professional; however, life has shown me that everyone is different and that each one of our bodies has very specific needs. There is no universal diet, that can help every person achieve their health and wellness goals.
The best way to find the right diet for us is to eat consciously. That mean eat relaxed and without distractions. Many times, we eat in front of our desk, cell phone or TV and are not fully aware of how the food we are eating is impacting our bodies.
To identify what foods, improve our wellbeing I recommend keeping a food journal. I this journal I recommend you write down what you ate and how your body felt a couple of hours later and the next day. For example: One of my favorite things to eat is a crispy fried chicken. I love the taste, the crunch and the smell. A couple of hours after eating it, I find that my stomach generates a lot of acid. The next day I feel heavier and my joints are achier. I do love fried chicken but because of the way I feel when I eat it, I limit its consumption and just have it a couple of times a year. Your food journal can help you identify what foods to eat more often and what foods to limit to increase your wellbeing.
Another way tool you can use to help you identify the perfect diet is to make sure to see your doctor for an annual physical. Make your doctor a partner in your wellness pursue. Many of us go to the doctor and if there is no illness we barely speak with our doctors about our wellness goals. A couple of years ago I was feeling very weak, sad and low energy. My physical revealed my blood was in low B12, Iron and Vitamin D. A conversation with my doctor indicated that my sadness and low energy could be caused by the vitamin deficiencies. He prescribed over the counter supplements, which I immediately purchased and started taking. OMG!!!! Those supplements changed my life in just one week!!!!! With this knowledge I also started looking for foods that could provide those nutrients. In the case of Vitamin D, I try to go out in the sun to get absorb this nutrient from nature.
Wellbeing, health and energy should be our goal is finding the perfect diet. If you have a health issue such as diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol then work with a nutritionist or medical professional to find the right therapeutic diet to address your health concerns. Many doctors are not trained in nutrition so it may require some research to find the right doctor to meet your needs.
Google, Health Gurus, celebrity trainers, fitness magazines and books can provide useful information. However, the only authority in what works for your body is, YOUR BODY! Get to know it intimately and let it tell you what is right for you.
But Beatriz, what if I want to lose weight?
This is a challenging subject for me. However, I have been doing a lot of work in releasing all types of dogmatism in my life. As part of my process of self-love and self-acceptance I became an active member in the body acceptance movement. Dogmatic members of this movement are very against the pursue of weight loss and for a long time I was one of them.
In my last blog – From Calling Out, to Calling In- I talk about the importance of understanding and respecting the other person’s perspective. If someone sees weight loss as an important part of their wellness goals, who am I to judge?
I still promote body positivity, body acceptance and body respect. I am not longer dogmatic about it .
Being totally transparent, a couple of months ago I decided to reduce my food portions. I found that I was not hungry between meals and that due to this I was not enjoying my meals as much. I love enjoying food but being still full from my previous meal was not allowing me to do so. Eating smaller portions has done the following for me. It allows me to be hungry enough to enjoy my meals, it makes me feel lighter and more energetic helping improve and expand my exercise routine and it has resulted in me losing weight. Yes, I am losing weight after being a militant member of the body positive movement and being an anti dieter.
So, if you want to lose weight, let your body show you how. Consciously choose your foods. As Michael Pollen writes, "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." Reduce your portions to a level where you are able to maintain your energy and lose weight. Engage in movement that challenges you and gives you pleasure; and above all, rest. Sleep is one of most important tools to EmBody Joy and wellbeing, make at least 8 hours of sleep a nightly goal.
The perfect diet is a body-centered diet. The perfect life, a successful life, is one where our body, mind and soul are fully aligned.
Feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments below.