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This is the greatest favor I can do for you as a nutritionist: A diet program that doesn’t tell you exactly which foods to eat and in what amounts. Empowering you to be in deeper relationship with food and with the genius in your body is the surest road to your most powerful metabolism.
If you absolutely insist that you must know the precise and eternally correct answer to the question “What should I eat?” I have an important piece of advice: Let it go. Save your sanity.
The quest for the perfect diet that will make us happy, healthy, and glamorous forever has created some heavy burdens we no longer need carry. Many people bounce from diet to diet and from one expert to the next often feeling victimized by the conflicting messages spoken by our food gurus and clueless about what to do. It’s time to understand the territory.
Diet Fads Have a Brief Shelf Life
The field of nutrition is frontier land. It’s the Wild West. That’s just the way it is. Many of the nutritional assertions we experts hold dear have a brief shelf life and will soon be replaced by something more crispy and fresh. That’s because the science of eating is always changing, just like you and me. We are still discovering who we are and what sustains us. Perhaps this will always be so.
So rather than feeling discouraged by the endless amount of conflicting and difficult-to-follow nutrition information that the experts put forth, relax into the middle way. Let quality be your most trustworthy guide.
Yes, there are specific foods and amounts that are the best and most beneficial for you to eat. But such information is not found in any book or revealed by any expert. It’s found inside you. It’s a practice of attunement that comes with time.
Quality Nutrition: The First Step
Quality nutrition is your first and most fundamental step. Elevating food quality is the most practical and foolproof nutritional improvement you can make. And it has repercussions that are beautiful and far-reaching.
Health is not an individual issue localized to your metabolism alone. It extends outward from the body as far as we can see and well beyond. Disregarding the Earth, its soil, and the food web and not thoughtfully sharing with all our fellow eaters around the planet has pathological consequences, not the least of which is recorded in our food as energy and information and fed directly back to us.
What goes around comes around. That’s not a fanciful notion but a literal nutritional fact. Whatever it is you want a food to gift you with is yours to have, provided those same gifts have been bestowed upon the food. This may be, perhaps, the greatest nutritional secret of our time.
* Eating quality food is perhaps the most powerful and foolproof nutritional strategy we can choose.
* Higher-quality food means greater nutritional value. When we continually eat low-quality food, the brain will register a nutrient deficit and signal us to eat more.
* Many people who think they have a willpower problem are experiencing a lack of nutrient-dense food.
* No matter what food you eat, choose the highest quality version of that food.
* First and foremost, food is energy and information.
* Every experience in the history of a food is encoded within it as energy and information. This is a significant determinant in its nutritional value.
More Tips for Quality Eating and Living
At the beginning of the week, make a list in your journal of everything that would stand in the way of including quality food in your life: “Not enough time,” “It’s too expensive,” “My partner [or my kids] won’t go for it,” “No convenient healthy places to shop,” “The food won’t taste as good.”
Then methodically and creatively uncover ways to help circumvent these concerns. Identify all the quality restaurants and takeout establishments near where you live and work. If you eat Japanese food, who has the freshest and the best? Mexican? Chinese? Who has the best salad bar? Homemade soups? If you’re going to eat pizza, eat the best slice in town. If you order food in when you’re at work, make the decision to make the best choices in regard to quality and freshness.
Quality also counts when it comes to water. Invest in a water filter for your kitchen and use for both drinking and cooking.
Almost anything placed on our skin will make its way into the body. That’s why I recommend using skincare products that you can almost eat. Consider changing over the following products to natural and more environment-friendly varieties: soap, shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, cosmetics, deodorant, shaving gel, toothpaste, and mouthwash. A health food store or food coop is the best resource for natural brands.
Quality household products also support health and ease the toxic load that humans have been continuously subjected to for the past century. As best as you can, replace dishwashing soap, all cleaners, laundry detergents, bleach, drain cleaners, and so forth with more earth-friendly varieties. Again, a well-stocked health-food store or food cooperative is an excellent place to find such products.
©2005, 2015 by Marc David.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Healing Arts Press. www.InnerTraditions.com
About the Author
Marc David, a nutritionist with a master's degree in the psychology of eating, consults with corporations and nonprofit organizations in nutrition, food, and holistic health. He has been a leading nutrition expert at Canyon Ranch for more than 10 years, a workshop leader at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, and is the author of Nourishing Wisdom and The Slow Down Diet.