One of the most debated topics in the health space is nutrition.
Literally thousands of diet books have been published and the onslaught of different opinions is virtually endless.
The truth is, there is no such things as a perfect human diet for everyone. Just like there is no single food that's healthy for everyone.
We are all biologically unique, and therefore our bodies can respond very differently to the foods we eat.
While broccoli sprouts may be extremely nutritious and healthy for 99%+ of the population, you could be in that less than 1% group who has a sensitivity or reaction to them.
The same holds true when you look at macro nutrient ratios. Some folks thrive off the popular Ketogenic diet of high-fat, low-carb eating, while others feel lousy and don't respond well to that way of eating.
The fact is, there is no one-size-fits all nutrition plan or diet.
I know this may not be great news.
I mean, I get it. You want a done for you guide with a straight forward meal plan telling you exactly what to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that you can follow to feel better, look amazing, and perform your best.
I am going to help break down the best nutrition practices that apply to the vast majority of the population, then teach you how to tweak these foundational recommendations to suit your individual body best.
Most of the diet books out on the shelves, even the relatively good ones, have one major flaw. They are recommending one way of eating to everyone.
I will say the better diet books can and will work for the majority of people, but how can you know if you are in that majority?
Not everyone can afford a customized meal plan written by me, so having a guide to use for free can be incredibly helpful as you navigate the complex world of health and nutrition is search of the best foods for your body.
Keep reading for a foundational understanding of what to eat to lose weight, build muscle, heal your gut, boost your energy, and enhance your overall health.
Regardless of the differences in details, any good way of eating should entail the following strategies that we have learned from observing long-living, healthy tribal populations:
Keep these strategies in mind no matter what foods you choose to eat.
I believe these are universal laws to eating well.
For hundreds of thousands of years humans consumed wild plants and animals which shaped our physiology to thrive off these foods.
Our bodies are designed to eat foods naturally high in fats, proteins, fiber, and micronutrients, NOT processed foods and high-glycemic carbohydrates.
The overconsumption of carbohydrates, in the form of sugars and starches, is one of the major reasons why rates of obesity and chronic diseases have skyrocketed.
The CDC statistics revealed that 71.6% of our population 20 years or over is overweight or obese!! (1)
Clearly we have a massive issue on our hands. Lack of physical activity plays a role, but it really comes down to the poor dietary choices people are making in our modern culture.
It wasn’t until relatively recently (last 100 years) that food has become so overly processed and commercialized.
The majority of people don’t consume enough real, whole foods. Their diets consist primarily on processed, manipulated, food-like substances that wreak havoc on your health.
Getting back to the essential basics listed above is the priority for most people. Don't obsess over the nitty gritty details until you have that critical foundation ironed out and your eating fresh, real, whole foods.
Before proceeding to the actual foods to eat/eliminate, it's important to mention that you must be very mindful with your eating.
As you incorporate any major dietary changes, limit the variety of foods your eating at each meal if you don't feel great after eating.
This will enable you to better identify the culprit foods causing distress to your body.
Remember, just because a food is generally recognized as healthy for most people, doesn't mean it's healthy for you.
You can have a sensitivity or reaction to virtually any food so be mindful as you change your diet and keep it simple to start with.
Unless you are in excellent health and have very few (if any) health challenges, I suggest you start with a very clean elimination style diet.
This method involves removing all of the "usual suspects" that can cause indigestion, inflammation, gut issues, autoimmune disease, and many other chronic conditions.
If you are dealing with any digestive issues (IBS, SIBO, leaky gut, etc.) , autoimmune condition, or any other serious health challenge, you should stick to this way of eating for at least 8-12 weeks. (sometimes longer is necessary)
After you have performed this protocol for 2-3 months, your body will be more prepared to try a wider variety of foods. At that point you may begin introducing other foods slowly that are listed in the next advanced nutrition section.
Foods to Eliminate:
I know your probably thinking, what else is there to eat? And why no huge salads? I thought those were super health?
Well, salads and raw vegetable are very healthy, if you can properly digest them. Raw vegetable fiber is very hard to digest. It's rough on the intestines and can really aggravate many digestive issues like diverticulitis, IBS, ulcerative colitis, etc.
If you digest raw vegetable fiber well, then go for it. If unsure, go easy on it for a few weeks and see how you feel. Juicing vegetables is the perfect way to get all the health benefits while giving the digestive system a break.
This way of eating focuses on giving the digestive system a break and lowering inflammation so your gut has a chance to heal.
Intermittent fasting is also a powerful tool to utilize for this nutrition protocol, as well as occasional longer fasts. This is likely the quickest and simplest way to heal the gut!
Bone Broth is a critical component to this nutrition protocol. The more you drink, the better!
Foods to Consume:
Typical day of Eating
Breakfast: Fresh-Pressed Vegetable Juice With + 2-3 pasture raised organic eggs (cooked to your liking) + 1/2 Avocado with Sea Salt
Lunch: Wild-Caught Salmon and Grilled Asparagus
Dinner: Bone Broth Vegetable Soup
1) Add grass-fed butter to large pot over medium heat
2) Mince up all vegetables and put in pot. Cover with lid and allow to cook
3) Add in all wet ingredients (bone broth and coconut cream) and seasonings and bring up to simmer
Although the initial nutrition protocol outlined above can be followed for life and provide you with long term health, I prefer incorporating a wider variety of foods.
Only proceed to this more advanced nutrition protocol once your:
Always introduce new foods slowly so you know which foods may be causing a reaction. I suggest starting to eat only one night shade vegetable, like tomatoes, for a few day rather than starting with a big salad containing tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, egg plant, etc.
This will enable you to identify the exact foods that your body is not responding well to.
This nutrition plan is how I eat on an ongoing basis, while making certain tweaks to eliminate foods that I don't respond well to and sticking to seasonal vegetable whenever possible.
It resembles many of the dietary principles that researcher and nutritional pioneer Dr. Weston A Price found during his travels studying several tribal population in perfect health. He documented his research in his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.
I believe my approach outlined below is an excellent nutritional strategy to use as a template, then of course modify it based on your body.
Foods to Eliminate:
Foods to Consume
Consuming your animal protein raw or as rarely cooked as possible is ideal. Incorporate foods like sashimi, ceviche, steak tar tar, carpaccio, etc. The traditional diet of our ancestors ate consisted of mostly raw animal protein and they thrived off of it!
I personally consume raw animal protein daily and any time I cook it I do some with low heat and prepare it extra rare.
Lunch: Wild-caught Mahi Mahi Ceviche
Dinner: Sweet Potato Sliders with a side of fresh watermelon
I realize that was a lot to digest (pun intended), but always go back to the basics when feeling overwhelmed.
Review the list of "essential basics to any good diet" in the above section and make it a priority to stick to those principles. If you do that, you will be far ahead of most people and well on your way to consuming the perfect human diet.
The most critical thing is to always listen to your body. Don't listen to anyone who insists you eat a certain food or food group if you know it makes you feel lousy.
Simplicity is the key when making modifications to your diet so start slow and minimize the number of foods your eating at the beginning of your nutrition journey so you can dial in your personalized plan.
I realize you may have many questions about this information, so feel free to leave them below in the comment section and I will do my best to answer them.
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