There's No One-Size-Fits-All Diet


So the Paleo Diet has taken some heat again lately in places like the Huffpost and The Washington Post. The biggest complaints seem to be centered on the restrictions of certain foods and its relative difficulty of implementation for the average person. All this buzz seems to come from the fact that more and more people today are searching for a “magical” diet that will solve all their ills, aches and pains or give them some kind of advantage like improved athletic endurance.

From my experience as a nurse and nutritionist, there’s no such thing as one diet that works for everyone. I believe Paleo has its place, but it’s just not for everyone. My husband and I even tried it to help us both deal with the residual inflammation following treatment for Lyme disease. Though it certainly helped … for a while at least, my professional observation is that it seems to work best for people with blood type O.

While I’m tempted to go down the rabbit hole of why, I’ll refrain in this post. That’s for another day. Instead, I want to get back to this commonly-held notion that there is a diet that works for everyone. Let that notion go! What does work is eating the foods that serve YOU best. Not what food works for your spouse, sister, friend or favorite celebrity.

So, how do you find what works best for YOU?

It’s a combination of commonsense, really cool science and a little bit of trial and error. The common sense part is easy. Think, “where can I get whole or minimally processed food that’s primarily organic, seasonal and local?” Look to your local Farmers’ Market or your own garden first, then the grocery store for fresh foods. For shelf stable organic/natural foods that aren’t at your local grocery store, look to online stores like Amazon, The Green Polka Dot Box and Thrive.  

Now here’s the part I’m really excited about these days! Epigenetics and Nutrigenomics! If you haven’t heard of these words yet, you will. These two fields of science use information like your ancestry, body measurements, family history, blood type, other blood markers and even genetic information obtained from a swab of your cheek tissue to help figure out what foods, herbs and nutrients may serve You best. All this data is put into a computer program and out comes your recommendations.

Now I know what you may be thinking. “Is this really possible?” and “Can I trust such a thing?” Well, several months back, I tried one of the simpler computer programs that can do this (without the cheek swab genetic results). I first tried it out on myself, then my husband. The food list really seemed to be spot on for each of us! Within three months we had more energy and less inflammation, were sleeping better and had improved our body composition stats (more muscle and water, less fat and a decreased metabolic age). I then tried it with some of my clients who I thought would benefit, and they saw improvements too.

Last, but not least, is a little bit of good old-fashioned trial and error. I hope we can all agree that no computer program can be 100% accurate. Tweaks are inevitable and mostly revolve around the topic of when to re-introduce certain foods back into the diet as they were just a temporary “avoid” food.

Your search for the perfect diet, can finely be over! The latest science has taken the wide world of food choices and has narrowed it down to what foods serve YOU best. You’re now more free to do things other than worrying about what food to eat.   

Leave me a comment below about how you make your food choices for your diet.