How to Craft YOUR Best Diet: Simple Guidelines
5 Minute Read: healthy eating, healthy lifestyle, your best diet, wellness.
With all the diet and wellness hype out there, finding your optimal eating plan can feel overwhelming (or even impossible).
This is true whether you’re trying to lose weight, gain weight, eat healthy, eat for brain health, eat for healthy skin, go low carb or keto, boost your immune system, heal autoimmune disease, recover from adrenal fatigue…or “just” feel lighter and at home in your body.
It can sometimes feel like, “What the AF am I supposed to eat?!!!”
There is SO much information out there, and you can find research and opinions that support just about anything! I get how confusing it is.
Know what though? It doesn’t have to be complicated. Simple real-food parameters + mindful self-exploration remain the gold standard for finding the best way to eat for you.
When I work with clients one-on-one, this is the foundation – like, always. I then fine tune and adjust to fit individual goals, health conditions, and Chinese Medicine and ayurvedic diet therapy.
Still, the foundation alone will go far in helping you eat and feel better. So, next time you feel overwhelmed by what you “should” be eating, check these…
Simple Guidelines for Crafting Your Best Diet
1 Guiding Principles
The mind, body and spirit are a system. When there is balance in that system, wellness results.
Finding balance is a process. Eating and living patterns are part of this process and how we manifest ourselves.
There is no one best diet or lifestyle. Optimal patterns are individual, responsive and relational.
Real food is a powerful starting point. Eating simple, nutrient-dense food is a solid foundation.
Food is more than just food. It is connected to our identity, social context, stories and beliefs.
Being healthy doesn’t have to be complicated. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
2 Real Food Parameters
Eat real, whole food that is as close to its “natural state” as possible. This can include high-quality meat, fish and eggs; healthy fats and oils; lots of veggies; and moderate amounts of fruit, nuts and seeds. For some people, high-quality, full-fat dairy is okay too, as are “occasional, sensible indulgences,” such as dark chocolate ;).
Avoid processed food, added and artificial sweeteners, chemically altered fats and oils, grains and legumes (unless vegan, when legumes may be necessary).
When possible, choose foods that are organic, local, fresh and in season.
Consider the impact that food choices have on our planet and its oceans, peoples and other creatures. When possible, choose foods that are produced in sustainable, ethical ways. Try to avoid plastic and other packaging.
3 Self-Exploration Essentials
Get curious. Investigate. Be a scientist in an ongoing self-experiment. Be an explorer in the exciting, interesting, ever-changing terrain that is your body-mind...that is you.
Be mindful. Bring mindful attention to what you eat and drink as you’re eating and drinking it and after – immediately, the next hour, the next day, the coming week. Bring that same level of attention to patterns, routines, habits, relationships and feelings around food and eating. The more you expand your sphere of awareness, the more you expand your sphere of choice.
Be honest. Clarity and change come from being straightforward with yourself. This is sometimes raw and sometimes painful. But without honesty and authenticity you’re wasting your effort, money and time.
Be gentle. Your job on this journey is to bring curiosity, mindfulness and honesty to an ongoing process. There are no “right” answers or set endpoints. There’s also no shame, no guilt, no judgement. Just notice, act, notice and act again.
Act. Don’t just read and plan – do. Sometimes it’ll be exciting and easy. Sometimes it’ll be a tedious chore. Sometimes it’ll fill you with rage – or joy or sadness. Sometimes things will move quickly and you’ll see all the changes you’d hoped for and more. Other times shifts will be more gradual, and steps forward will be interspersed with set-backs. Don’t let the latter derail you. Just keep looking and moving in the direction you want to go, all the while being present where you are right now. Moment-by-moment, step-by-step.
Have faith. You’ve already done the hard part – made the difficult choice to step out of easy and into a shaken-up status quo. Seek support and guidance from those prepared to support and guide you while remembering that you are your Number 1 caretaker. Trust in the process and trust that there’s great power in mindfulness, persistence, patience and time.
It takes years to get where we are with eating and lifestyle, and change usually doesn't happen overnight or in a month. Even when you know “what” to eat to feel your best and most confident, sustained follow-through can be really hard.
For many of my clients (and me!) asking for help isn’t easy, but please do seek support from friends and loved ones. Explain, with sincerity and honesty, why how you eat and feel is important to you. Request backup. As you do, be as specific as possible and make clear this is about you and what you need (not a judgement against them or their choices).
Additionally, for a customized plan + coaching, apply for a Deep Dive. This long-distance package includes:
An online assessment
Two 60-minute coaching sessions
A plan tailored just for you, with reflective exercises and practical action steps
It’s perfect for exploring overeating, emotional eating, eating addiction and eating disorders…or “just” crafting your optimal diet and and lifestyle routines.
To learn more and apply, head here.
Meanwhile, know I’m rooting for you. Wishing you so much success in living your best, most fulfilled life this week and beyond!