What diet is right for me? What diet is right for you?
Is it the same diet?
There’s a ton of conflicting information out there about what constitutes a healthy diet. I admire nutritionists and health experts for being able to draw any conclusions whatsoever since there are so many varied theories and schools of thought.
On my own health journey I have explored a myriad of diets including low allergy, vegetarian, yogic, macrobiotic, FODMAP, pescatarian, organic, paleo and more lately seagan (vegan with occasional seafood). I’ve eaten right for my blood type, wrong for my taste type and whatever happens to be cooking in between.
Largely I explored all of this because I had chronic gut pain for several years, which I’ve now thankfully healed. (hats off to FODMAP which was probably the most helpful of those listed above for my particular ailment).
Despite this I don’t believe FODMAP or any diet for that matter is right for everyone. I don’t think there is a one-size-fits-all approach. It was very much trial and error for me and it’s still a work in progress.
Whilst I not longer suffer significant pain issues (thank freaking gawd as it’s not something you would wish on anyone) the truth is I feel it’s time for me to step up, in terms of food ethics and working towards what I’d like my diet to look like for the future .
At heart I’m a future-tarian or futarian (just made that term up) as much as I am paleo (FODMAP and paleo are quite similar diets). I’m somewhere in the middle here in 2017. I heard of one guy coining the term Pegan (Paleo Vegan). That resonates somewhat.
I believe when it comes to diet we need to look back into our ancestory as well as looking forward; both directions are equally important.
Looking back at what my ancestors ate provided me with clues about what foods my body might find difficult to assimilate. It showed me how the modern diet it’s largely at odds with what our bodies have evolved to process. In other words there’s a lot of crap in our modern diets which we haven’t yet adapted to deal with.
Looking forward has provided me with context and meaning about where we are heading as a species and what we might like to choose from here. Veganism is a growing trend that many are feeling called to for the earth’s sake as we face a catastrophic environmental crisis.
Paleo and vegan are like two ends of the spectrum pulling me into the centre and towards another possible truth: that both diets, might be ideal depending on the person.
Evolution didn’t stop when people started cultivating grains some 10,000 years ago. There’s a reason why we chose food security as opposed to continuing our hunter-gatherer ways. Many societies adapted and as such we have people who are genetically better able to digest grains than others as well as those who can thrive on vegetarian diets. There’s a lot of variation between us all.
Many argue that mass production of meat is unsustainable and that in the future it will be a luxury reserved for the rich only. As someone with an environmental backgound I take this seriously and on an ethics level I’d much prefer to to be vegan. It makes sense from a moral and sustainability standpoint. However with evolution in mind I’ve felt pulled in opposing directions.
Since logic alone couldn’t solve this internal dilemma I started asking my body what it wants to eat. This may seem like hippy wo wo for some of you but I tried to connect in, energetically with what my body truly requires…with the past, present, the earth and future in mind. For example how much, if any meat protein does my body actually require at any given time.
When I tune into my body in this way I’m getting the sense that my ancestors might have been less “paleo” than our modern day advocates argue. For example I received the awareness (and when I looked it up I found some evidence) that hunting was often seasonal, and it wasn’t always successful on any given day and so man evolved to adapt to storing fat well. My ancestors for example, ate meat, but not necessarily every day and possibly to varying degrees at different times.
I think I particularly have these fat storing genes as it’s easy for me to put on weight. I also feel fine when I don’t eat meat for long periods of time and still have high iron, and B12 when I get blood tests done.
It feels like I require a lot less meat than what I thought I did, but the jury is out about whether I could thrive on a 100% vegan diet alone for a long periods of time. I’m open to the possibility but haven’t made that choice as of yet. For the past month I’ve been mainly seagan (vegan + seafood) and I don’t feel any different to earlier in the year when I was eating more red meat.
I think those who are trying vegan diets and getting good results are early onsetter futarians, who are possibly carving out a path that we may all eventually follow. As such I really respect them and think it’s a brave choice. Having said that I don’t judge those who choose to continue to eat meat if that’s what their bodies are telling them to eat.
This is all still a work in progress for me but I’m feel like it’s an ongoing evolution. there is no crystalised truth, things are always changing and there’s no doubt that humans are adaptive.
One thing everyone can agree on is that we’d rather eat good quality fresh food than processed chemically laden crap, no matter what dietary camp we choose to be part of.
The common ground is that we’re looking back and looking forward and that both are important.