What should I eat?!? The case for bio-individuality

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“Okay so you’re saying it’s okay to eat butter, but I need to avoid grains for a while. But what about oatmeal? I thought it was good for my cholesterol levels?”

“I heard that it’s not a good idea to eat protein at night because I won’t digest it as well, but then I’ve also heard I’m supposed to eat protein at every meal. Which should I do?”

“I’ve been putting spinach into my morning smoothie for months, and now I hear it’s got oxalic acid and I shouldn’t be eating it. I thought spinach was good for you!?”

Any one of these questions about food could be (and have been) heard around my office by clients feeling thoroughly confused about what they should be eating. I often joke that there’s no food that’s safe – I can make a case for or against just about everything we eat (over-processed junk notwithstanding), even spinach.

So what’s the deal? Why do all the so-called nutrition “experts” disagree so much? And more importantly, what on earth should I be eating??

Despite all the apparently conflicting information out there, the reason for this confusion is simple: lack of context. And that context is you. Let me explain…

Each one of us is unique, with our own specific set of physiological traits: blood type, ancestry, metabolic type, lifestyle, climate, strong and weak constitutional points, lifestyle, and stress levels. All of these factors and more influence what foods work best for us, when to eat them, and in what form.

Let’s look at an example. If you live in a hot climate, don’t have blood sugar handling issues, and thrive on a lower-protein type diet, then lots of fresh fruit and raw cooling foods are appropriate. If you live in a cold climate, have been diagnosed as pre-diabetic, and you’re cold all the time, then that same diet doesn’t make sense and could be very detrimental to your health.

It’s not the food itself that’s “good” or “bad”, “healthy” or “unhealthy”. It’s the context in which you’re eating it. And that context is YOU.

The frustratingly vague answer to any question about “is this good for me?” is: it depends.

What should I eat? The case for bio-individuality | eatnakednow.com

When new clients work with me, they often come with a whole set of self-researched nutritional tidbits gathered through the years. These are conscious, health-minded people trying to do the right thing, but they end up getting information without the most important perspective: the context of what’s going on in their body, and thus what’s right for them.

Ultimately, this is why diets work…and fail. There will always be some people for whom the program fits their unique bio-individuality, and others for whom it’s exactly the wrong approach. We see this all the time with our 14-day Sugar Control Detox. At the end of this program, there are those who have found their new home – this is the way their body thrives and they will maintain this way of eating long into the future. For others, it serves as a great recalibration of their metabolism, they lose a few pounds, and they learn that they do need some starches in order to feel energized and satiated. Ultimately, the detox wipes the slate clean and helps people find their perfect macronutrient balance.

If you’re struggling with health issues you haven’t been able to resolve and haven’t been able to figure out what to eat, consider getting some support from a practitioner who can help you listen to your body’s specific needs and customize a diet that works perfectly for you.



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2 Comments

  1. Kayla

    September 27, 2014 at 9:27 am

    You are so right about biochemical individuality. I get “upset” with all the people online who say that Paleo is the only way to eat and that everyone can benefit from intermittent fasting by skipping breakfast every day. This approach may work for all those 20-40 year old, single males out there trying to make a living online, but it is not appropriate for most women. Most of these people also approve and promote chocolate as their one treat food, too. I would like an honest assessment of that topic as it seems you can find pros and cons about everything. I have “allowed” myself a tsp of plain cocoa powder in hot water as a coffee substitute but I drink several cups a day (yes, I may be addicted to chocolate!). My question specifically refers to possible inflammation and worsening of arthritis or lower back pain from its consumption. Do you have an opinion? I respect your suggestions as I believe you are a truly knowledgeable and wise person and I would really like to hear what you think about cocoa or dark chocolate with small amounts of sugar/carbs?

    Thank you so much.

    • Margaret Floyd

      September 28, 2014 at 3:27 pm

      @Kayla – I hear you completely! Intermittent fasting is something that works only for some people in a very specific state of health (in my opinion). Certainly not something I’d be recommending as a blanket statement.

      Cocoa powder – raw cocoa powder is actually really high in anti-oxidants and will be anti-inflammatory. Now, you’re putting it into hot water, so if you invest in raw cocoa powder (which I’d recommend) then I’d suggest you lower the temp of your water a bit. Doesn’t have to be cold or lukewarm, but just not a rolling boil. The thing with chocolate is the sweetener that you use along with it. I’d go cautiously on that part – a little raw honey would be a good combo, but maybe only once a day. (again, this depends to a degree on your sugar handling abilities – if you’ve got blood sugar issues, I’d do it less frequently, if you’re fine with a little sugar now and again, then a little more is fine)

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