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My Food Philosophy 

holistic health & nutrition kids wellness special diets sustainable living traditional Nov 12, 2021

Naturally, as a nutritionist, and also a child who was fascinated by the concept of food as medicine, I’ve emphasized, broken down, and experimented with many ways of eating, and done a lot of food research over the years.

My philosophy on food comes down to a few concepts and guidelines. It’s about getting back to our roots and bringing it back to basics, similar to how our ancestors ate, before the fast-food, chemical era – the closest to the way food was found in nature - minimally processed and chemical-free. 

I want to inspire and help you to do the same. I don’t judge, I don’t label – all I ask is that you open yourself up to eating real foods – simple whole foods. Through schooling as well as my own life phases from elite-level athlete to pregnancy, and living in various cultures, I’ve tried many ways of eating, and experimented with countless therapeutic diets (including raw, vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, paleo, GAPS, traditional, etc). However, my true human nature keeps calling me back to what I believe has been the most natural and health-promoting diet for our human species for thousands of years - being a conscientious omnivore - eating the traditional and indigenous way – from small, sustainable, local organic farms or wild-caught and foraged from our regional foodshed. No matter what your food choices are or what your geographical location is, I’m are confident that this food philosophy has great value in it, and has nourished our ancestors for thousands of years. 

There are many components to life that create holistic health, but food definitely has one of the most powerful impacts on our bodies. Through food, we can nourish ourselves and families, build community, and connect with the natural world. Permaculture, gardening, foraging, hunting, fishing, baking, cooking, visiting your local farm or farmer’s market are just a few ways that you can more connect with the food you cook and serve to your family and friends.

Conventional nutrition is all about eating junk food or green-washed “health foods” effectively. Hmmm…yes, we do live in a modern over-processed era, but why not just eat real food effectively? You don’t have to be a purest (eating whole, clean, fresh, unpolluted, undiluted, uncontaminated a.k.a organic) all of the time, but you can eat a real food diet the majority of the time! 

I’ve gotten to a place in my life and in my food journey where I’m less interested in having diet debates. I don't identify with the dietary spectrum - I believe that everyone is unique and everybody needs different things at different phases in life. We are bio-individual - based on our environment, our age, our gender, our ethnicity, our geography, our life phase, our toxic load, our mindset, etc - but the one thing we do have in common is that we are all made to eat real food. Eating from all four kingdoms of food (animal, plant, fungi, bacterial) is ideal over a lifetime, which proves to be our ancestral diet, but emphasizing on certain ones may be beneficial for periods of time to give the body a rest, or for extra nourishment like during pregnancy or nursing, as well as childhood. 

 

Food Guidelines

Keep it whole, real, unprocessed, and natural as all the vitamins, minerals, fibre and enzymes work best in harmony.  Our Great Mother knew what she was doing.  Trust her!

No diet zone - if you are new to the “health world”, which we certainly aren’t, be careful not to get too specific – zoom out a little bit! Be cautious of diet extremes. Take everything with a “grain of salt” and incorporate changes, small steps at a time.  

Eat a seasonally based diet to capture ingredients at their peak freshness, maximum nutrition, and flavor. Simple cooking techniques are then applied to enhance the dining experience. Tuning into the natural rhythms of the earth brings about balance and a sense of coexistence.

Eat the traditional, primitive or ancestral way - from small, sustainable, local organic farms or wild-caught and foraged.

Consume nutrients from the four kingdoms of life - plant, animal, fungi, and bacterial. Variety plays a good part in the quality of your nutrition. 

Make it from scratch, with your own ingredients, in your own kitchen. That means package-free, artificial flavor-free, and preservative-free creations. The types of foods, colors of foods, and cooking methods of foods should be varied for optimal health. 

Keep it simple. Recipes should be easy, delicious, and made with ingredients that are accessible to you.

Eat what you love – just create healthier versions. Learn all the tips and tricks of the trade when it comes to swapping flours or sweeteners for others. There are many healthy alternatives out there.

Don’t do low-fat, reduced-fat, or no-fat – we need healthy fats for good health. The key is good fats. The traditional ones that are great grandmothers cooked and baked with.

Eat with an open mind. Each week, try a new vegetable. Bake some muffins with new flour. Increase your variety. Eat a rainbow, as I tell my youngsters. 

If you don’t like it – don’t eat it. There are other vegetables besides eggplant and okra. But it can certainly take our palate a few times of tasting something to acquire to it - important for children - keep offering variety, but never force it.  

Keep it organic and non-GMO as much as possible – opt for local small scale and farm-fresh, grown with no, or minimal pesticides, hormones, or antibiotics. Or even better, start your own garden and/or food forest! Genetically modified food is not well recognized by our bodies. 

Healthy = delicious and flavourful! No bland and boring here. Use herbs, spices, unrefined sea salt, and natural sweeteners to give great flavours to your food. All your taste buds should be satisfied, even the sweet ones! Fall in love with your food - we digest and absorb nutrients more effectively when we enjoy the taste of our food. 

Keep it close to nature. If your great-grandmother wasn’t eating it when she was a child, chances are it’s not a whole natural food. Avoid refined, processed, and packaged “food-like substances” that were made in chemical labs or processing factories.

Don’t label or judge. Avoid labeling and judging yourself and others on eating style. You are not your diet. Don’t let your diet choices define your identity to the point of controlling your life, social outings, and family.

Grow it yourself, or buy it as close to home as possible. Keep it local and seasonal when you can. It’s magical for a child to watch a seed go from sprout to food! 

Listen to your body - you are the wisest person concerning your own diet and nutritional needs– not your doctor, nor your spouse, or even your nutritionist! Guidance from a qualified practitioner is fine, but learn to listen to what your body is telling you. 

Focus on body respect and intuitive-style eating - your intuition can be very accurate in identifying what’s going on inside your body, and give you many clues on which foods you should, and most importantly, should not eat. Questions to ask yourself: Is this food nourishing my body and spirit? I am eating this with a conscious mind? Is this me loving and nourishing my body, or am I self-medicating?

Mind over matter - your thoughts can affect your physical body. When you eat food you believe is bad for you and are feeling guilty, the fight/flight response is instantly triggered. All non-essential bodily functions are shut down, including digestion. Your body enters survival mode and does not understand that this "danger" is merely a piece of cake or a slice of pizza. For all it knows, you are about to be attacked by a lion, and so it acts accordingly. Thus the food you are eating is not properly digested and has a greater negative impact. If you’re going to indulge, relax and enjoy it, guilt-free! 

Avoid the “one size fits all” mentality – there is no one diet that is optimal for everyone on this planet. Bio-individuality is based on multiple factors such as gender, age, activity, climate, season, genetics, culture, health status and background, and even personality type! What your body needs now may be very different next year, and the nutritional needs of your family members may be different from yours, just like your friends living on the other side of the globe.

Allergies and food sensitivities - if you suspect trigger foods, eliminate them with a food elimination diet, and re-introduce slowly, to note any symptoms. Or get tested. For some people, irritating foods can be the difference between illness or wellness. Dig deeper, and see if there are root causes leading to these potential food triggers. 

Increase your consumption of raw foods – live enzymes promote good digestion and absorption of nutrients. Food that lacks life cannot sustain life.

Lighten up – we’re all human. We love good food, and we love cultural experiences. If you eat healthy the majority of the time, then it’s perfectly fine to indulge now and then. Don’t let the guilt hurt you more than the food ever could!

Make it fun and creative – put on some music, get your kids in the kitchen, laugh a lot, make a mess, and don’t be afraid of getting creative. The best meals are "recipeless", made with love and enjoy in good company! 

I hope these guidelines have cleared some of the noise and confusion for you, and that you’re left feeling inspired to move forward. The health and nutrition industry is well-known for all of its opposing views and contradicting messages, but in the end, the common denominator that experts share boils down to one simple factor - eat real food.

For my FREE Real Food Nutrition Guide, click here

 

 

Looking to source quality foods, supplements, and nontoxic home products? This vetted list put together by Beyond Vitality can help!

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