I have a public announcement for everyone: Stop talking and start listening! ;-)
Everyone wants to give you advise and sell you the newest and best diet plan and products. We are bombarded with information every day. I get a new question almost daily asking me what I think about this diet plan, method or product. Most people will learn that when questions like this come in to me, I usually respond with more questions. I need to know more.
Yet, some things are pretty black and white.
For example, What is your opinion on artificial sweeteners?
My answer, simply: No
There are some simple rules I go by and teach our members and use within my own family. But when someone comes asking about the newest juice cleanse, the paleo diet, vegetarianism, there is no one set answer to these questions and my answer is going to be different depending on the person I speak with.
A lot of listening is required for this and to have a little side rant... What frustrates me the most is when another professional or even just another person starts ridiculing or negatively talking about a program someone else is doing. Most of time they do not even fully understand it before they start bashing it. Shhhhhh. Learn to listen people.
One of the biggest reasons I chose the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to start the foundation of my nutrition training was because you learned about all the dietary theories out there (well, almost all - there is always one out there that will pop up that I have no clue what there person is talking about.) One of the foundational principles to our training was Bio-Individulaity. Simple put, what works for you may not work for me.
Now some of you are saying, Mary, what about the Gaia Fit Transformation or the Gaia Fit Food Plan Challenge? I make a strong effort to be clear when starting and finishing these programs that these are tools. They are starting points. When all the world is crashing in on you and you are so flippin' confused, your body feels like a train wreck, these are tools that can help get you back on track and LEARN. They will help you clean out the system and find what foods work for you and what foods work against you and especially with the Gaia Fit Transformation, bio individuality is blazingly obvious. Some people come out of the clearing phase craving meat and others don't miss it at all.
Next time, you are ready to jump into the next diet fad someone is trying to sell you, ask yourself the following:
How will this help me?
Why do I want to do this?
What goals do I want to achieve?
Is this good for my health not just focused on weight loss?
Some of us need more structure and accountability to get jump started. I understand this. Make sure it is a healthy jump start. And make sure you know what to do with it when you are "done."
To get started here are some of my quick and healthy guidelines for all:
1. No artificial sweeteners and food dye.
2. Unlimited veggies! Eat ALOT of them.
3. Carbohydrate = vegetables, fruit, and starches. Eat them in that order. Review #2.
4. Healthy fats are your friend.
5. Compliment each meal and snack with a protein source.
6. Water. Water. More water.
7. Highly limit your preservatives and processed foods. The more unpackaged foods the better.
8. Chew. Breathe. Be mindful while you eat.
9. Limit water intake while you eat. Drink in-between meals and snacks.
10. Enjoy a cheat meal 2-3 X throughout a week - NOT all in one day.
Bonus: Enjoy life. Your food should compliment not be the center.
Stop judging and LISTEN more. ;-)