Screaming in the echo chamber: This is the best diet ever!

by holli on March 28, 2012

Fresh made Carrot Goji Berry Salad.

When did diets become the way of the American Life? I’ve observed how vastly different they all are, and there seems to be a “best ever” new one every 2-3 years. As a kid, I went from eating at Mc Donald’s to being a Vegetarian to Atkins all because my Mom was trying her best to nourish her family. And now, I’m in her shoes. With one son who can’t eat Gluten or Eggs and a daughter who suffered from chronic constipation, I found myself in the spiral of seeking the “best ever” diet to feed my family.

My head just about exploded every time I read a new book on the best diet. From Super Baby Food to Disease Proof Your Child to Nourishing Traditions, I learned something useful and many things that contradicted the previous book. I found blogs and communities of people dedicated to THEIR diet. And to my surprise, I noticed they all have two things in common: unprocessed foods and VEGETABLES. Seriously, every single diet encourages folks to eat their vegetables. The Vegetarians and Vegans are the only ones who make consuming the new FDA nutritional guideline servings of 3-5 cups a day seem easy. I think everyone can do it, because I’ve seen our family make the shift in the past year and know it’s possible.

I’ve also come to see that there is NOT ONE DIET for every body. I have a good friend who feels her best when on Paleo. I personally feel best as a Vegetarian. I know others who swear by other diets. And then, they try to convert everyone else to try it. I won’t be doing that anymore (I may, however, tell you about how my daughter loves to eat Kale). What I think everyone needs to remember, if they choose, is that vegetables are key. They aren’t highly profitable, take a lot of labor to produce (pun intended), and so you won’t be seeing billions of dollars spent to convince you to consume them. You have to do that yourself.

With diets in mind, I created my first ever free handy tool for you, dear readers! No matter what diet you are on or want to try, keep a journal. I’ve done this for myself and my kids and it’s been so helpful to identify for example that my daughter needs more vegetables than her brother at each meal. It took me about 2 months, and I noted things like number of poops and energy levels to see some clear patterns of what foods were best. You can add whatever notes work for you. To get the Food Journal, click the image for a printable PDF document.

And now, my husband wants to be Paleo. I support him, because it’s the first time he’s really cared about how he’s eating. And you know what? He’s eating more vegetables!

{Edit note: Most food sensitivity challenges suggest dietary changes for 4-6 weeks. So, if I were to offer any advice on a diet, it would be: give it 6 weeks, and if it is NOT making you feel BETTER, it’s time to move on! Remember every body is different.}

Have you ever kept a food journal? What did you discover?

p.s. Once you’ve tried out my fancy pants journal, drop me a note and tell me what you think! p.s.s. Shared on Simple Lives Thursday!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristy Lynn @ Gastronomical Sovereignty March 30, 2012 at 9:31 am

i have not kept a food journal… but i will now. 🙂

i’ve awarded you the versatile blogger award! You can claim it from my blog (no pressure though)… XO!

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holli March 30, 2012 at 10:45 am

Thank you, Kristy Lynn!

It looks like you’ve nominated 3 I would have put on my list too:) Do you know if they can be nominated more than once? If not, that shortens my list!

What fun, Holli

p.s. I forgot to mention in this post, that I think food journaling for 6 weeks when trying a new diet is helpful. And, I think that if a diet isn’t making you feel BETTER after 6 weeks, it’s not working:) Going to edit…

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