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A few weeks back I sent out a poll via my subscription list asking a few question. Firstly I have to thank each person that took the time and effort to write back. Your responses have been invaluable. THANK YOU SOO MUCH.

Now, one reader raised a very pertinent concern. In her words:

How do I balance the ‘too many chefs in the kitchen’ nature of health these days? For example we get advice from the doctor, advice from blogs, advice from magazines, advice from fitness professionals etc – sometimes it’s a minefield to tackle!

I hear you! In fact, as you are reading this I wouldn’t be surprised if you are nodding along too. Many of my clients come to me for this specific reason. Everyone is so damn confused. It’s hard not to be.

There is no right answer

I hate to tell you this, but there is no right answer – there is no ONE right answer. There are millions. Because there are millions of us.

You are totally and utterly unique. You are made up of your own DNA, genetics, health history, culture, metabolism, age, lifestyle. Not to mention emotional and mental layers that are deep and connected to experiences and situations that have long gone.

During my studies as a health coach we focused around the concept Bio-individuality. Which basically means that one person’s food is another person’s poison. And I have seen this in reality time and time again.

The sooner you embrace that you are unique and that you need a unique approach to health, the sooner you will be in health.

It’s an experiment

There are certain things I know about my body and what it can and can’t have. I know I can’t be a full vegetarian but I also know that I don’t cope with alot of meat. How do I know this? I experimented. But more than that I listened to the messages my body would send me, say during a month of eating more animal protein. What would I discover – bloating, discomfort, feeling stuck, change in digestion and elimination pattern.

Alot of people talk about how grains are ‘SOO bad’ for you. Ok, maybe so. But when I eat them I have a happy tummy. Brown Rice, Quinoa (actually a seed), Barley – these all work for me. Not everyday and only organic/biodynamic.

Raw food as a complete diet DOESN’T work for my tummy (IBS flares up), but raw food included in my diet can be great. Seasonal eating (warmer stews and roasts in winter, lighter, fresher meals in summer) makes sense – traditional cultures have been doing it for years, why don’t we?

How do I know all this? I researched. I experimented.

So get going. Try it out. Experiment. Don’t just read blog after blog thinking ‘oh, maybe I should DO that’ and then do nothing. Take ONE idea, drip-feed it into your life and see how it responds.  But do so with a clear understanding of WHY you are doing it and do it properly. Listen to your body.

I’m going to say it here – It saddens me each time I discover another person that became vegetarian because they’d ‘heard’ meat consumption is bad or that it’s ‘healthier’. Yet, they did so without being smart about it, without being a GOOD vegetarian. Simply cutting out meat and eating carbs, sugar and junk doesn’t make you healthy. It makes you naive. A good vegetarian eats a diet rich in beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, eggs, fats, grains.

Somethings are hard and fast

There are somethings that are set in stone:

  • Sugar is not good for us
  • We eat too much meat, generally
  • Grass fed/pastured animal protein and eggs are better for us and the animal
  • Anything overly processed lacks nutrients and is high in chemicals
  • We need water, and lots of it
  • Nothing replaces real, fresh whole produce
  • Chemical free/organic is best where possible
  • Good fats are essential
  • Junk food is just that, JUNK! Nutritionally empty food
  • Moderation is key, but if you have a family history of X illness then avoid anything that triggers that! Common sense
  • Look to nature for health and healing

Ditch the attachment to ‘diet’

Yes, we all like to ‘belong’ to something, I know. Even a diet. “I’m a raw foodie”. “I’m vegan”. “I’m a carnivore”. “I’m paleo”. Firstly, WHO CARES! Me? I am a nothing. I eat what feels right and I eat what my body needs. Secondly, you aren’t ANY of those. You are an unnamed universal energy – the same as the rest of us.

Let go completely of your desire (perhaps subconsciously) to be part of some food movement. You are not your food, do not identify with it. It’s how you fuel your body. It’s important and so integral to wellness, but it’s not WHO YOU ARE.

Know what you want

Are you trying to be a body-builder? Do you want to lose 5 kgs? Are you wanting to put weight on? Do you just want more energy and to feel good? Your intentions are also your clues to what to do. Someone that wants to be a body-builder (although I consider that to be quite damaging on the system) will need to eat and move in a very different way to someone that needs to put weight on!

Be clear about your intentions and then you can be clear about where to focus your attention.

Trust no one but yourself

In the end, the answer is clear. Your body is your indicator. Use your own intelligence to make a smart decision and try something out, but don’t feel you are locked it. Change it if it doesn’t work.

Your turn: What is your version of ‘health’ – what does that look like and what’s it made up of? Answer in the comments below.

Love + light,

Claire x

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  1. Such a timely post Claire! The way you write is so easy to connect with and absorb. I can tell I'm going to feel less overwhelmed now with the plethora of info that's out there. It's not ALL going to apply to me at all. Some people are on certain diets for health reasons like Cancer etc, but it doesn't mean their way applies to people that aren't on the same journey. Xo

  2. I agree completely Claire. I believe another of the most important flow on effects of disassociating yourself from a particular food philosophy or 'diet' exclusively is that you can be kinder on yourself and forgive yourself for straying as you are experimenting and trying to stay true to yourself rather than staying true to some external pressure of a diet… The hardest part for me is being less stringent and harsh as It never ends well – I've got to listen to my body and forgive myself and move on if I feel like I haven't treated my body with respect.

  3. thank you claire! I'm reassured to hear you say its combo of trial and error as well as instinct (and also discipline!) x.

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