Last month I talked about your “primary” food. Today I’d like to discuss your “secondary” food. Secondary food is the actual food you put in your mouth. I would use the term “diet” although it has unfortunately earned a bad rap. People tend the think of “diet” in terms of deprivation in order to lose weight and may even equate it to a 4-letter word. In actuality, “diet” refers to a manner of living as applied to the food and drink we regularly consume for nourishment.
So what is the proper “diet” for one to have? Our government confuses us with first the Food Pyramid, then a revised version of it, and now My Plate. Neither shows the vast options of healthy eating depending on each individual’s needs. Both push whatever food the government is currently helping to subsidize, whether truly healthy or not. So how do you know what you should eat? The simple answer is talk to your doctor, a registered dietician or a certified nutritionist. They can review your habits and health history, taking into consideration your current health goals, and construct an eating plan that is customized to you.
It seems there is a current trend toward doing cleanses. It is very important to consult your physician before attempting any such thing. Keep in mind our bodies need a certain amount of bacteria in our guts to be healthy. Some of the popular cleanses out there remove everything, including the good stuff. And, although you may lose weight while on a cleanse, chances are you will gain it back immediately. So, in my opinion, this is not good a long-term weight loss/control strategy. You’re better off eating real, unprocessed foods with an emphasis on fresh (organic when possible) vegetables and fruit in addition to hormone-free, antibiotic-free protein.
There are so many quick-fixes offered to us for weight loss, muscle enhancement, increased energy, etc. The best is to find what works for you. There is no one, cookie-cutter system that will work for everyone. Take into consideration your weight, height, overall health, daily exercise regime, and anything else that influences your wellness before choosing a strategy that best fits your needs. List your goals and limitations; consult a professional; and if for any reason whatever you chose feels wrong to you, by all means stop! You know your body best so listen to it. When it’s right for you, you will enjoy a healthy, well-balanced diet that will have a positive influence on your life.
Be Present, Be Purposeful, Be Well.