Paleo. Whole30. Clean Eating. Mediterranean. Autoimmune Protocol.
Today there seems to be lots of “lifestyle diets” and “elimination diets”. They all serve the same purpose. To get you to eat less processed food and more real food. They differ in what is considered acceptable. The elimination diets are a little more extreme, in the short term, and have you add foods in moderation, down the road.
It seems that it can be overwhelming in choosing a plan to follow. My advice is simple. Try out one that seems to interest/fit you and your life. Give it a good 4-8 weeks. Then tweak it so that it fits you even better. Let’s say you try Whole30 and LOVE it. Fantastic, continue eating that way, but you may allow yourself a semi processed sweet, once in a while. Or maybe you add honey back in to your tea, or as a daily dose for immune support.
Several years ago, when I was on my paleo kick, I talked about the 80/20 rule. The theory is that you can maintain a healthy level of warding off disease and excess weight, by eating healthy 80% of the time. Well, if you eat 5 meals a day, that is 4 meals a day are healthy, and 1 can bend your rules a little. I understand that doesn’t work for some, they need more structure, but I took it differently. On paleo, there is no rice or diary. Well, maybe one day, I’d have rice with my meal. And the next day, a pinch of cheese on a salad. This doesn’t mean I wasn’t paleo, or I wasn’t eating healthy. I just wasn’t strict about the rules ALL THE TIME.
I really enjoy listening to The Balanced Bites Podcast. They talk about how you don’t need to be so strict, and even that the various paleo experts differ on what strict looks like. It is enlightening to know that I am not the only one who feels this way, and that it can be done.
“Eat less from a box and more from the earth.” Live Love Nourish
Now, I have done the autoimmune elimination diet, twice, and I do know there are foods I should not eat. No matter what. Sadly, sometimes that is hard to avoid, and then I suffer the consequences. I am amazed at how some of these foods make me feel. Take the eggs, for years, I ate 3 eggs every morning with my breakfast. Now I can tell if an egg has been used in our spaghetti squash casserole. That isn’t to say that I think eggs are unhealthy and everyone should avoid them. Just that I should not eat them, even in moderation.
The great thing about eating healthy, since there isn’t a one size fits all answer? It is ever evolving and changing with you. When I first got into a healthier lifestyle, I cut out eating out. This meant I cooked at home. I would make tuna helper, with double tuna, and that was healthier than eating out all the time. Sometimes, I think we look too far down the road. You don’t needed eat like I do, not to be healthy. You don’t need to compar your current to my current,we are not the same person, nor are we on the same journey.
So how are you eating these days? Do you have rules or guidelines you follow? Please share in the comments, you never know whom you may inspire.