October 27, 2023
“One man’s food is another man’s poison.” -Proverb
When it comes to finding the best diet for you, it’s important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Each person’s body is unique, with different specific nutritional needs and preferences. This is known as “bio-individuality,” and it means that what works for one person might not work at all for another.
Finding the Nugget of Wisdom
Rather than feeling like you need to fully subscribe to a specific diet and “go all in,” it can often be even more helpful to focus on finding the “nugget of wisdom” in any given modality (with the exception to this being with allergies, or diets that are prescribed for specific medical conditions).
For example, the nugget of wisdom in a vegan diet might be to consume a diet rich in plant fibers. If you choose to lean into a more plant-centered diet, it doesn’t necessarily mean you must never eat meat, but rather that you can instead aim on making plant-based foods a priority on your plate each day.
Here are some tips for finding the nugget of wisdom in some of the most common types of diets:
The paleo diet is based on the idea that we should eat like our ancestors did, with a focus on whole foods and minimal processing. The nugget of wisdom in this diet would likely be to eat more whole foods and less processed foods. Incorporating more fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins into your diet can be a great way to reap the benefits of this approach.
The Mediterranean diet is based on the traditional foods of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. This diet is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats like olive oil. The nugget of wisdom in this diet would likely be to focus on healthy fats and whole grains. Incorporating more healthy fats like avocados and nuts, as well as whole grains like quinoa and rice, can be a great way to lean into this approach.
The vegetarian diet is based on the idea of eating fewer animal products and has a number of different types. For example, a Lacto-ovo vegetarian is someone who avoids meat, poultry, and fish, but who does consume eggs and dairy, while a pescatarian avoids meat and poultry, but does consume seafood, dairy, and eggs. The nugget of wisdom in any plant-focused diet is to consume more plants. Incorporating more fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains into your diet can be a great way to lean into this approach
There is an endless stream of conflicting, and often emotionally-charged information on the internet about what to eat in order to be healthy. There are endless ideas, endless social media posts, and many, many books. At the end of the day, you know your body better than anyone else, and your body will usually offer you a nudge if something isn’t quite working.
Always remember that you are in the driver’s seat of your health journey. Be sure to listen to your body, and to never stop seeking out what works best for you in any given season of your life. You may gain tremendous value in one season from opting for a more plant-centered diet while finding that a more Mediterranean style of eating serves you better in another. This journey is lifelong!
By focusing on the nugget of wisdom in any given style of eating, you can develop a personalized approach that works for your unique needs and preferences without ever fully subscribing to a restrictive ideology that you may struggle to maintain long-term.
Bio-individuality means that what works for one may not work for another, but in bodies that are constantly changing, our needs often change with them. If you ever struggle with finding what works best for you, you can always seek out a practitioner or coach who has made it their mission to serve you as you navigate your journey to wholeness.
If you gain anything from this post, let it be this: We are all genetically, biologically, chemically, emotionally, and experientially unique. Allow yourself total permission to explore what your body may be seeking guidance with for the season it’s in now.