How many quick fixes or extreme approaches have you tried with your nutrition and in your life? What have you learned from each experience? Did they leave you feeling defeated or empowered?
Traditional eating was a balance of feast and famine, with the feast being at the end of summer, and the famine being at the end of winter and early spring. Now, with our culture we don’t have this built in “luxury” to pause at each season to recalibrate while we gather our food sources. These quick fix diet programs are replacing the flow of nature and our body’s rhythm.
These programs if done with awareness and at the right times of year, can be a great way to INITIALLY begin a new way of eating to shift habits. Many of us have extreme personalities where we go all in, burn out, or don’t know what to do next. This can leave us up shit creek without a paddle.
The newer version of a quick fix nutrition program that is getting a lot of attention is the Ketogenic Diet. The Ketogenic Diet is a high fat, low carbohydrate, controlled protein diet that has been used since the 1920s for the treatment of epilepsy. This ratio of high fat and lower carbohydrates alters genes involved in energy metabolism in the brain, which in turn helps stabilize the function of neurons exposed to the challenges of epileptic seizures. What makes the Ketogenic plan a bit different than the fad Atkins diet of the 90’s, is it is suggesting healthier fat and protein choices than Atkins making it more of a free for all. As with any extreme version of a macronutrient program studies have reported these side effects; arterial stiffness, iron-deficiency anemia, dehydration and stomach issues.
Introducing short term programs can be a great way to initiate fat burning while increasing your motivation and your intentions. Then the long term goal is to find your own rhythm with the seasons of nature and your body. Playing with your comfort zones and edges are a must. If we get too comfortable being uncomfortable, shit gets real.
“Comfort is the enemy of progress”~The Greatest Showman.
Here are a few suggestions to initiate fat burning whether you go Keto or go Vegan. When you begin a conscious program that is focusing on quality and health you will notice shifts.
- Add in a NEW vegetable each week: Eating new vegetables will expand your palate, add in quality vitamins and minerals that most people are lacking and prevent boredom. Join Community Supported Agriculture in your area and the farm will send you seasonal vegetables that will upgrade your nutrition.
- Release these inflammatory foods for the first one to two weeks of your experiment: Take these inflammatory foods out when you begin your experiment: eggs, white meat chicken, canned tuna, processed wheat and flour, pasteurized low & non-fat dairy, energy drinks, high caffeine amounts, processed sugars, alcohol, corn and shellfish. Then add back one at a time that you feel you can not live without and observe how your body responds.
- Add in Fiber: Add in a source of fiber with two of your meals or as a snack per day (minimum). Excellent sources of soluble fiber include split peas, black beans, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, avocados, legumes, pears and blackberries.
- Have your self-care emergency kit ready: When your body is under stress and deficient you need to give it extra support. This is the time when most people ignore their needs. My kit has green tea, herbal tea, almonds, my favorite organic food bar, lavender essential oils to rub on my head and a water bottle. When these are in my reach, then I feel able to take on my life. What does your kit contain?
- Track and experiment when you have energy dips: It is super important to observe what times of day your energy consistently dips. This is a sign you are not getting your needs met, whether it is from your food or life choices. Take a look at my favorite tool for helping you get those needs met ASAP.
With abundant nourishment,
Heather Fleming, C.C.N.