Vegan vs Paleo; How do you know the right food to eat?

I don’t think a day goes by when the latest food and diet news doesn’t receive its fifteen minutes of fame through mainstream media, telling us what we should be eating to combat everything from stomach fat and premature ageing to diabetes and heart disease.

The challenge is you need to be some sort of nutritional wizard to decipher most of it because from one day to the next, the information and advice is different.  It’s actually quite difficult to tell the ‘fake news’ these days if you’re solely relying on these external sources to know how to care for your health and wellbeing.  

Right now we have the full range of what we should be eating out there in the public domain, from full vegan to full-on caveman styles of eating.  The most confusing part is that there is research and data that ‘proves’ the health claims of each of these extremes.  Conversely, there’s also data that demonstrates the ‘health risks’ associated with them too. From a high meat diet contributing to heart disease and colon cancer, and a vegan diet being associated with hormonal imbalance, weakness and anaemia.

It is hard to wade through all the research and subsequent advice that seems to come in waves, more like fashion than food. 

However, I want you to consider these following points and questions:

  1. Your body and my body are different
  2. Your metabolism, constitution and genetic expression are different to mine
  3. What you like to eat maybe different from what I like to eat
  4. How hungry you are now is quite likely to be different to how hungry I am
  5. Last night I slept better than I have been doing, how did you sleep?
  6. I’ve not been so active these past couple of days, despite doing a spinning class last night, how active have you been?
  7. How stressed have you been feeling lately?
  8. Are you on your monthly cycle?
  9. Whats the weather like where you are?  I’m in the desert, it’s 45 degrees!

AND, perhaps most important of all…

  1. What are your beliefs about food?  Do you believe carbs make you fat?  Do you believe protein makes you thin?

You see, each of us are unique, living in different bodies and in different environments, climates and circumstances.  There is no one-size-fits-all approach to eating that works for everyone.  I’m mostly plant based, this isn’t always my advice to clients because I’m not trying to treat my body, I’m treating theirs!  Big difference.

Likewise, none of the research is right or wrong.  Look at the people advocating them, the paleo and caveman diet advocators are not all suffering from high blood pressure, colon cancer and diabetes.  The vegans are not all anaemic looking former shadows of themselves, they each look and proclaim to feel healthy.

So, instead of trying to figure out who’s right and who’s wrong, because they all are, the only thing that matters is what is going to be right for you.  And, the only way of knowing that is not by reading a nutrition text book or the latest diet plan, but by connecting with your body, becoming more aware of your biofeedback and eating intuitively, which means, inspired by your own biofeedback… there’s nothing more complicated to it than that!

There is not one universally healthy food, avocados are not a match for everyone!  There is only a healthy food relative to the individual.  Your only task, as far as food and nutrition are concerned, is to seek and find those foods that feel good to eat, before, during and after eating.  If you don’t feel good at any of these stages then that food isn’t working for you right now.  And by feel good, I mean physically and emotionally.  If you feel guilty then your belief’s about that food are preventing a harmonious interaction, and the result won’t be pretty 😉

This is well worth your consideration, even though for some this is a giant leap in the world of nutritional therapy; your beliefs and thoughts about food, have a huge effect on whether that food creates lightness and ease or heaviness and dis-ease in your body.  Whether it was a harmonious relationship between that food and your body or not, is largely governed by your beliefs and thoughts about it, and therefore your beliefs are the most powerful component in your nutrition.  How else do you describe the different health and weight experiences of people eating the same food?

The constant, that is consistently left out of all statistical models tracking food and nutrition, is the relationship between the individual and the food, the mental thinking and belief system of the individual.

 

The truth is, some people eat a lot and they feel light, some people don’t eat a lot and they feel heavy.  Some people smoke, drink and eat meat and live happily into their late years, some do all of that and die at 50 years of age.  

Being a nutritionist I am passionate about the power of food, but I have learnt that the real power is within me, within my own mind and how I consciously choose to direct my thoughts.

The moral of this story, and how I approach nutrition with my clients within BeU is:

  1. Eat food that you feel inspired to eat
  2. Do so consciously 
  3. Now, be awake to the impact this has on your body
  4. How do you feel after eating?  Make a note of this, this is your body trying to tell you what it want’s and what it doesn’t.
  5. Now act on this information by using it to inspire your next food choices.  Become an intuitive eater, entirely governed by your inner wisdom rather than external information. 
  6. Most of all, be conscious of your beliefs and don’t try to eat beyond the limits of your own belief system.

 

I talk about all of this in my book, Your BeUtiful Body, and I’m always so inspired by Abraham Hicks so I want to leave you with this YouTube video.  This particular one is about food and how it effects our physical body.

So, now you know… It doesn’t matter whether it’s vegan or paleo, the only thing that matters is that you feel good about it and believe in whatever food you are eating to love and nourish your body.

Happy eating :))

Love Laura xo

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