Vegans will argue that a plant-based diet is the healthiest way to live. Meat eaters will insist that meat is an essential component of their diet. And there’s everyone in between. We’ve all heard the labels: I’m a vegetarian, a pescetarian, a vegan but I eat fish, I’m a locavore, I’m organic… Yes, we’ve heard it all. So who’s right?
In many ways, everyone is right. I’m not talking about moral or environmental reasons around eating meat. But in the physical sense, each of our bodies is different. Our blood types, our glucose levels, our hormones, our ancestry, our genetics, our allergies and intolerances all influence the nutrients our bodies need.
So what should we do? My answer is simple. Listen to your body. Literally, listen to your gut. 70-90% of the immune system lives in the gut, Gut health is imperative.
In order to Listen, you need to do some housework. First, take 3 weeks to cleanse your system. I don’t mean a juice cleanse. I mean eliminate refined sugar, processed foods, and flour. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. A lot of them. Drink as much water as you can. Take a daily probiotic. Give your body the chance to clean out. Once your body is no longer addicted to sugar, it will begin to speak to you. It will tell you exactly what it needs.
I am not a meat eater. Nor a vegan, a vegetarian, a pescetarian, a lacto-ovo. I am not a person who always does this and doesn’t do that.
Rather, I am an intuitive eater.
I keep my body clear of refined sugars and artificial ingredients most of the time. I choose high quality ingredients. I eat fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. And I feel good. I have built a healthy, loving relationship with food. I feel more in tune with my body than ever. Because I view cravings as a form of communication, I’m able to get to the root cause; the source. For example, craving yams means my progesterone levels are low. Craving mushrooms means my immune system needs a boost. Craving bananas means my serotonin levels are dropping. These are all tidbits of nutritional information I’ve learned by listening to my body. Internally, we can’t see when our body needs. But with practice, you can train your body to feel it. This body you have is AMAZING. It WILL tell you what you need when given the chance.
So don’t worry about what all the conflicting information on nutrition and health. Eat whole, real food as much as possible. Drink more water than you think you need. Be kind to your body. And listen to your gut.