What to Consider When You Are Considering an Eating Plan
Vegan, Vegetarian, Pescatarian, Ketogenic, Paleo, Atkins, The Zone, South Beach, Raw Foods, South Beach Diet
Any of these sound familiar? If so, how successful was your plan? What were the pitfalls of your choices?
I sometimes hear people identify with their eating plans with the same fervor they apply to speaking of their religious beliefs. Joshua Rosenthal, the director of IIN, used to warn students against dogma around food. He would encourage us to move “out of our box” and expand our thinking to expand our food choices. The warning not only meant for us but, also, for our relationship with future coaching clients. If we are stuck in a plan that did not suit our needs, how can we guide others to their best diet?
Part of my dogma involved denying myself certain foods. I was convinced that if I ate them I would somehow be betraying a commitment I have made to myself and, perhaps, a cause. For the longest time, it was animal protein. Not eating animal has benefits on many levels. The benefits for the environment and to one’s health, to name a couple . The downside to this decision must also be considered.
For many people, vegetarian or vegan diets have no downside. A condition called Thalassemia renders me chronically anemic. And as you will see in the upcoming information, my metabolic profile requires that I eat added protein, and, for me, an occasional piece of fish, eggs or bison are beneficial.
If you already are or see yourself approaching a “diet label trap” I would encourage you to read on.
An intelligent, informed choice will prevail over what the latest trend might be. We are all metabolically unique, and knowing what you need as opposed to plunging in to a plan without research, is what I am promoting.
There is also another component to good nutrition. As a trained wellness, professional I have come to know that food is secondary. I work with clients on creating the right “headspace” before we get to what they will eat. Eating a perfect diet, fit for you, is only one component to a fully nourished life.
My hope is that this information reveals a bit about why you might be on a diet yo-yo or why your health is not optimal. And that you will come to understand that the right plan is the one designed for you, personally.
Here is a summary of how I approach a client’s nourishment needs.
What Are The Blocks?- Much of our negative self-talk governs our lives’. I spent much of my early adult life losing and gaining weight, anxious, fatigued and in and out of depressive periods. If only I had me to tell me to listen to my inner dialog. The negative self-talk that continuously said I wasn’t thin enough, good enough, smart enough, pretty, enough, etc. This mental mindset blocked me from living a fully expressed life. In the Monkey Mind exercise we work together to transform these thoughts in to healthy, positive statements. Going in discovery of why we fail at good nutrition and healing those elements, is essential to plan success.
When we feel satisfied with ourselves, it begins to show up in so many areas to transform us from frenzied, sick and stressed to being present and truly alive!
Blood Type- I have been doing blood type assessments for many years. My fascination with blood type began, many years ago, during my training at IIN in New York City. I am O blood type. O blood is the oldest type. It was the sole type in many ancient civilizations. It makes sense that blood group O would have higher level of stomach hydrochloric acid, pepsinogen and gastrin. as early man was classified as hunter-gatherers. Because of their lifestyle (more foragers than hunters) they existed on a diet rich in animal protein. This would explain the need for increased stomach acid. A low protein, starchy diet may adversely affect O blood types. Conversely, type A blood type, derived from the agricultural age, would, most likely have a difficult time highlighting animal protein in the diet. This group might be best suited to vegetarianism or, at least more plant protein than animal.
Your Dosha- I have been around Ayurvedic Medicine and practitioners for a long time. I have a deep love and respect for the the intelligence of Ayurveda. The foundation of wellness begins with a persons dosha. The dosha’s or body humors take in to consideration who you are in a holistic way. My dosha is pitta-vatta. Like with blood type associations, there is an entire list of foods that resonate with one’s dosha as well as foods to avoid. For example, my pitta side is hot, fast and fiery. Foods that are spicy will add to what is known as my dosh “derangement.” When I paid attention to the pitta diet, I ate foods that soothed my highly acidic stomach. I became calmer and less of a “hot-head”. Tastes associated with pitta healing are sweet, bitter and astringent. Tastes to minimize are pungent, salty and sour.
Cultural Profile- Humans are becoming more mixed race in this global society, but I still feel there is a place for this and it is worth looking in to. What our ancestors ate, consistently has become part of our molecular make-up. I am of Mediterranean descent. I resonate with this diet so my O, high acid stomach loves fresh fish over meat. An Eastern European O might resonate with other types of animal protein such as lamb, because of what his or her ancestors have been eating for centuries. I also love fresh vegetables, especially the bitter ones like dandelion. Think about how an Asian O blood type or a South American O blood type may differ.
Your General Wellness- It is so important to look at health conditions before starting an eating plan. For instance, if someone is having kidney stone issues we will need to avoid foods high in oxalic acid, caffeine and limit protein. These individuals are not candidates for a diet that favors protein while limiting carbs.
This snippet of my work is a brief example how I have thoughtfully engineered my practice to give clients their best life and the best chance at a healthy lifestyle on a physical, mental and emotional plane. I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences. If you would like to talk more please reach out to me for an introductory consultation or any questions at shelsmycoach.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.