It may seem that everyone knows the right way for you to get healthy these days. Your doctor, your friends, and every website that you read. You hear the typical “you should get more exercise,” “you should eat healthier,” and “you should take supplements.” Yet, what exactly does that mean for your unique body? All the advice may leave you feeling frustrated and overwhelmed- to the point that you just give up and don’t even try.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
I teach another path- one that involves taking into account all of the advice and information that you can from external sources and then utilizing your own intuition and experience of your body to make the right decision for you. Because the truth is that there is no one “right” way of eating, exercising or living that is perfect for everyone. So, if you’re ready to reinvent your health and your body, here are 4 truths you must know to get healthy on your own terms:
You are a bio-individual
Bio-individuality refers to the concept that individuality permeates each part of your body. No one way of eating is best for everyone. There are a few of the key factors that shape your bio-individuality.
• blood type
• personal tastes and preferences
Each of these factors influence what will or will not nourish you at any given stage of your life and it is up to you to use your body as an experiment (gently, please) to determine what works for you. So, when experts say “red meat is unhealthy” or “milk is good for you,” it’s too much of a generalization. These statements are not based in the reality that we all have different dietary needs.
The same can be applied to exercise- you probably know someone who thrives on heavy weight-lifting or CrossFit, yet you may try it and you immediately hurt yourself. Maybe you thrive on low-impact movement like yoga or walking. You’ll know when you’ve found the type of exercise that your body loves.
You Are MORE Than What You Eat
You’ve probably heard the saying “You are what you eat.” Yet, the truth is that you are MORE than what you eat- You are what you are able to digest and absorb.
Digestion and gut health is a hot topic right now. Health food stores carry hundreds of products to support digestion and if you ask any health coach or wellness professional about the importance of eating fermented foods or drinking kombucha, they’ll have much to say.
We now know that Individual dietary needs are linked to gut health.
As you are a bio-individual, your specific gut health will affect what you are able to digest properly and thus, what you will be able to absorb into your body. To figure out why people reacted so differently to the same foods, researchers studied participants’ microbiomes – their unique collection of good and bad bacteria.
This investigation showed that obese people have a less diverse microbiome than thin people, proving that variation in bacteria is key to health and weight maintenance. In an experiment on mice, scientists found that when they transferred bacteria from obese mice to lean mice, the lean mice became obese without a change in food intake.
It’s clear from this experiment that gut flora plays a big role in how our bodies respond to food.
As a Certified Health Coach and Life Reinvention Expert, I help clients determine what foods support their body and, if needed, what supplements, such as probiotics or digestive enzymes, will support their system. Personally, I have benefitted a great deal from taking both digestive enzymes and probiotics daily.
Fad Diets Don’t Work
Let’s just be honest, fad diets don’t work in the long run. You’ve probably noticed that men often eat differently than women, you eat differently in the summer than in the winter, and you ate differently as a child than you do now as an adult. In addition, you may have a friend who thrives on consuming dairy and red meat, while you feel unwell after consuming even the smallest amount of cheese and feel heavy and bloated when you consume red meat. Have you ever wondered why?
This is because you are a bio-individual.
We are too individualistic to eat the same exact food. Specific prescribed diets have their place for persons with serious illnesses, intolerances or allergies and can be a useful tool for a specific purpose or a limited amount of time, but often are not sustainable for the long run.
For most of us, I suggest throwing prescribed diets out the door. Be it vegan, vegetarian, raw, dairy-free, gluten-free, carnivore, Paleo, pescatarian- the list goes on and on.
No one way of eating is best for everyone. One person’s food is another person’s poison. (tweetable)
Getting healthy is a lifestyle commitment for the long-run
Though you don’t necessarily have to follow the latest fad diets or workout hours each day like your gym-rat friend to be healthy, there are a few things you may need to do. After all, getting your body in a healthy and balanced state is a lifestyle commitment for the long-run. I’m not here to tell you this will be easy, but you can do healthy your way- on your own terms. Here are a few suggestions I recommend to anyone who is looking to live a healthier life:
- Learn cooking basics and start cooking at home more often.
- Drink more water. Ideally 50% of your ideal body weight in ounces.
- Focus the majority of your diet to include real, whole food (not processed or refined).
- Move your body as often as possible in a way that you enjoy.
- Supplement your diet with high-quality, pharmaceutical-grade products.
Once you shift your mindset about what it means for you to be healthy and start focusing on your own individuality when making lifestyle choices, you’ll be on your way to a healthier and more peaceful life. The best part is you’ll be able to drop all the stress about if “you’re doing things the right way” or doing “what you should do.” None of us have all the answers, we are just doing the best we can with the information that we have at the time. Get to know your unique body and its’ needs in an intimate way by experimenting and listening to your body’s messages and you’ll develop a deep inner knowing, an intuition, about what is right for you that will serve you all of your life.