Dr. Cynthia Durakis, Chiropractor
On the recommendation of a mentor of mine, I just read the book EAT IN PEACE TO LIVE IN PEACE, By Charlotte Kikel, MD. Its focus is nutrition, however the book is more about how to eat than about what to (or not to) eat. The author’s perspective is a refreshing change from many inflexible nutritional philosophies offering programs that guarantee health, weight loss and well-being.
Our scientific understanding about nutrition is in its infancy. Many nutrition authors and diet-promoters have made great arguments for their particular diet plan-- be it vegan, paleo, ketogenic, FODMAP, Whole-30, Sirtfood, ayurvedic, the list goes on. Should we avoid meat, carbs, fat, wheat, grains, lectins, dairy, nightshades?? It can be VERY confusing, but ultimately the “diet” you are on should be as flexible and ever changing as the human body is.
Rule number one should be "know yourself." If you don't feel well and you suspect your diet may be part of the problem, then take the time to figure it out. A three-week "EAT CLEAN" program followed by a systematic re-introduction of foods likely to be causing trouble will offer excellent insight. (This list commonly includes processed food, added sugars, dairy, wheat, corn and soy).
Why should we think about flexibility in a diet? Our body will strive to adapt to whatever new dumb idea we come up with. Which means if you go on a calorie restricted diet for too long, the body will think that it’s starving and work even harder to conserve energy and/or store fat. At first the eating-less principle seems to work but there is always that point where the body says enough is enough. Bottom line here - eat enough to maintain a healthy weight and make sure that when you are exercising more, you are eating more.
I am just like you, I want to feel good and be healthy. This is an ongoing process that has required significant study along with gastronomic experimentation!
My diet has definitely evolved over the years and, just like you—I’m getting older! My hormones are different, I don't exercise quite as hard as I used to, not to mention I need a bit more rest. I eat a lot of vegetables, grass fed/organic meat and eggs and I eat healthy fat with every meal. (Remember, we need fat to absorb nutrients found in plants, and to make our cell membranes AND our hormones.) I take whole food supplements, herbs and digestive enzymes. Last weekend I had a craving for the breakfast I used to eat on a daily basis--fruit topped with greek yogurt, nuts, oatmeal and honey. It was a festival of carbohydrates and made me sleepy, cranky and sluggish! I just can't eat like that anymore. My ability to regulate blood sugar has changed, and I am much happier eating (or drinking) something with lower carbs and higher protein for breakfast.
I eat when I am hungry and fuel my body with healthy foods that nourish it. And yes, occasionally I have a treat and when I do, I ENJOY IT!
This is the premise of the book mentioned above. In addition, the author offers insights into how our medical-pharmaceutical system is fueling chronic disease rather than vitality into old age. I bought a few copies to have on hand at work and am offering them at cost if you’re interested. Just stop by and pick one up!