This morning I saw my 5999th viewing of an Alkaline/Acid food chart.  No, not the same one.  Yet another version.  This one is from a well-known personality of whom I hold in high regard.  Still, I wanted to run screaming from my computer when I realized that some foods had been put in the “high acid” category when, if you look on another chart, it puts those same foods in the neutral to alkaline category.  It got me to thinking.  If I wanted to tear my hair out as a holistic nutritionist and health coach, what are my clients, my readers feeling in the face of all this conflicting advice?

Every day there seems to be a new dietary theory (and book to buy)  that surfaces.  Thousands upon thousands of products and supplements flood the market.  It’s no wonder most people fail to make healthy food choices on a consistent basis.  High carb, no protein, low carb, high protein, Atkins, Pritiken, Jenny Craig, South Beach, counting grams, counting points….  Has your head exploded yet??  I could go on for days with the different diets out there.  And there are hundreds of products; of things for you to buy; with each and every one.

Do I have your attention??

I am not saying these diets won’t work…..for a little while.  I am saying the sheer BOREDOM coupled with the one sided approach to nutrition will have you back in the McDonald’s drive thru before you can say “Supersize me!”  Wait!  Is this really about nutrition?  I am going on record to say that when you mention DIEt  to me, my hands get all clammy.  As a holistic nutritionist and health coach it is my mission to help people figure out that food can be nourishing, life-giving, and healthy right along side with being delicious!   It is also my mission to work with people and show them it’s not about charts, it’s about choices. Beautiful alkaline fruits and veggies, a few grains and maybe even a little meat.

Before we go on, let me tell you, there are plenty of extremes in the nutrition world as well.  Vegetarian, vegan, raw vegan, fruitarian, omnivore, Caveman or Paleo, macrobiotic, probiotic, handfuls of supplements, superfoods, supergreens….AAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, I’m back.  My nutrition freak out has subsided.

So, how do you wade through all the “junk” and know what’s right for you?   To quote Michael Pollan, speaker, activist, and author of “Food Rules” and other amazing books, “Eat food!  Not a lot, mostly plants.”  Ah simplicity at its finest.

My clients are amazed, once they step away from the fast-food counter and start connecting to their food, at all the ‘foodgasmic’ choices that exist out there to eat.   As we explore local, seasonal produce, grass-fed free range meats and sometimes wild meats and poultry, and their taste buds acclimate to these foods, it excites me to see their minds and palates open up to endless possibilities of good eating.  Real eating.

Notice I don’t try to turn all my clients vegan?  I want my clients to eat intuitively.  I have friends on a strict raw vegan diet and they do very well on it.  I don’t do well eating nut “hamburgers”, and loads of raw. My digestion rebels.   For me, I need warm lightly cooked foods some of the time.  In fact, I eat according to many ayurvedic principles which means I am a vegetarian for pretty much all of the summer and eat a little meat (mostly wild) in the winter.  I tend to mix in the spring and fall.  I listen to what my body needs.  I do not try to do cold smoothies in the winter.  I am not saying you shouldn’t,  but if you live in Northern Minnesota, probably not a great idea as smoothies and juices are, by nature, cooling to the body.  They are, however, perfect in the heat of the summer, when those beautiful fruits are all in season!    More on the energetics of food later.

I got into a heated debate once with a woman on LinkedIn when I mentioned my husband does better when he eats a little meat during the week.  She adamantly and vehemently clung to the assumption that everyone should eat a plant based (and by based she meant in entirety) diet, that we were not meant to eat meat; that the reason he gets ill if he doesn’t have at least a little meat is that he is detoxing and he needs to stop being a baby and push through those symptoms.  Her words, not mine.  Had I not heard of “The China Study”???  What kind of nutritionist was I?    My husband has pointed canines.  Not vampire like but very much ‘tear through flesh’ canines.  He has strong digestion and he has color in his face when he eats meat or poultry twice a week.  I, conversely, do better on a mostly vegetarian diet.  When I eat meat it sits in my stomach like a bomb for several more hours than it should.

Bottom line.   There is so much more to say and many more posts in which to say it.  Choose wisely.  Take your cues from nature.  Fruits and vegetables (even meats and poultry) bursting with colors (even potatoes and cauliflower with their white color have something to add) instead of a grey, colorless hamburger and french fries are great choices.   Every food has an energy.  Grass-fed cows that are allowed to graze in a pasture their whole lives are happier cows (not to mention healthier) and are much better choices for your family’s dinner table than commercially raised, grain-fed, hormone and antibiotic laden,  packed together like sardines, cows that lived and died in fear.  Same goes for chicken; same goes for fish.   Blueberries grow in the spring and summer.  They are only good for you when it is YOUR spring or summer where you live.  Raw foods might give you boundless energy; they may make your stomach hurt.  They may even do both depending on the season.

Put down that latest diet book and get yourself to a farmer’s market.  If you need a reference, on what you could be eating, how to use that Swiss Chard you just bought, what Superfoods you really need and which ones you might not need…..  I’ll be here.  Until then, awaken your senses dulled by frozen pizza and KFC, and EAT FOOD!

 

Wishing you peace and balance,

Jacqueline

 

12 replies
  1. Pamela
    Pamela says:

    Love this post Jaqueline! I have pur my diet books down and just focused on eating healthy, as in the local produce, fresh eggs, fish, chicken, turkey ground! My body feels better inside, not so much stuffed or tight! Thanks for this post!

    Reply
  2. Family Travels on a Budget
    Family Travels on a Budget says:

    Jacqueline,
    I realized several months ago that my rate of weight gain had me headed to 200+ by the time my daughter graduates high school (ideal weight in the 125-132 range). I opted to reconnect with my food, a balanced diet of grains, fruits, veggies and occasional meat and dairy. Voila! 20 lbs. lost in just over three months. People noticed. In response to the inevitable, “How did you do that?” I explained my food choices. And usually got an “OH… so no tricks, huh?” Balance for lifestyle and health needs is great advice!

    Reply
    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      It is that simple. Balancing your food, normalizing portions, connecting to your food, the preparation, eating intentionally all help drop weight without even thinking about it! Good for you for dropping 20 lbs!

      Reply
  3. Rosey
    Rosey says:

    I love your zeal and dedication, and you write well too. I like that you work around your clients’ individual needs and help them see choices that fit into their lifestyle. I do think if you enjoy what you’re cooking, eating, etc., you will be more inclined to continue the pattern of doing it.

    Reply
  4. Sharon
    Sharon says:

    Oh man, I bought so many dumb books over the years…and then I saw Slyvester Stallone say that when he did Rock III he only ate plants and things that had a head on it, fish blah blah blah…and he ended up with so little body fat that his hair had veins.

    That did it for me. It’s gotta grow out of the ground or have a head on it. Preferably with 4 legs too cause fish gives me gas!!!!! LOL

    Reply
  5. Carla Barilá Karam
    Carla Barilá Karam says:

    Jacqueline… well said!! I applaud you. I used to eat whatever I wanted, however all in moderation …and I am active… since finding out five months ago that my cholesterol was really high… I chose to adjust my diet and become a vegetarian, borderline vegan… no eggs, beef, pork… now I must admit that I have had chicken (roasted or grilled) maybe 3 or 4 times… and I have also had salmon or tuna (also grilled or roasted) about a handful of times as well. As you said… I maintain a very healthy vegetarian diet, however I allow for my body to tell me what it needs. Thank you so much for all the great information you have given me … grace, peace and blessings, Carla

    Reply
  6. mary
    mary says:

    I have to say this is a brilliant piece of writing! Not just the content but the style – jumps out of the page (screen) and is recognized immediately as the voice of sanity.
    I am lucky. I generally eat what I want when I want and listen to my inner voice that lets me know if I need to something inparticular or something doesn’t agree.
    We are all unique individuals with differing needs and there’s absolutely no way that one food suits all just like one size/shape will never fit all.
    Listen to your body, enjoy and savour every bite and I don’t think you will go wrong.

    Reply
  7. Michele
    Michele says:

    OMG I totally agree. Bottom line- no one disagrees that a plant-based diet with organic veggies is good. Faoctory-farmed meat and processed foods are bad. After that, just go with your instincts, the seasons, and what feels right. We need to get out of our heads.

    Reply
  8. Becky Jane
    Becky Jane says:

    I totally agree with your eating plan. Samll amounts of meat in the winter and fruits and vegs in the summer. I need some information: If you eat fruits and vegs in the season, what do you eat during the winter months?

    Reply
    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      Becky this depends really on what is in season in your area, but small amounts of meat, (wild or at least organic and free range) lentils, root vegetables such as potatoes, turnips, beetroot, greens such as kale and other deep dark leafy greens, there are many winter dishes you will find here as well as The Blissful Beet. Winter does not mean you have to relegate your taste buds to siberia. Pumpkin and other squashes are fantastic this time of year. Warming spices such as cinnamon and cumin are fantastic to use. Chai masala (recipe to follow) with raw milk or coconut milk is perfect for warming up. There are so many flavorful ways to eat and nourish your body (including when eating for a chronic illness) in the winter….

      Reply

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