One of my absolute core beliefs is that we are all unique. We are all human, but just because we share a lot commonalities doesn’t mean that what will work for one person will work for another. This seems to be one of the reasons that nutritional science is hotly debated, because at times two opposing hypotheses can be proven to be correct, even when in direct contrast with one another.
There’s a wide range of good common sense advice that you would think would be applicable to all of us, eating more veggies being one. But what if you have digestive issues? Could too much fibre from increased vegetable intake actually make you feel worse instead of better? How about drinking more water? I’ve read some accounts of people who have found that drinking water, in line with the recommended amounts, have had metabolic issues because of it. If you have thyroid problems, eating too much broccoli, kale or cauliflower, all touted as super healthy foods, could adversely affect it. P.S cooking those veggies well can make them better for people with those issues, ditto with some digestive problems.
There are so many examples of healthy living advice working for some people and then not for others, and I’ve had to remind myself of this when working with groups of people where I tend to give broader advice. As much as some stuff is common sense, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to work well for you. Sometimes the only way to find out is to try it!
I completely believe that some of us do better with higher protein / fat diets and others with more carbohydrate. I know some peoples bodies have more difficulty with sugary foods, even natural ones. Likewise, some people with too much fat, even healthy fat can feel sluggish from it. It’s all about figuring out what actually works for you.
As more and more different dietary approaches gain popularity, it becomes even more essential to bring it back to what works for your body rather than blindly following a trend. I don’t have anything against anyone that tries the latest approach, I’ve been there and sometimes experimenting is the only way you can find out what really works for you body. The important thing is not being afraid to change things in response to what your body tells you, and remembering that it might change over time too.
I spent a while as a fairly high raw vegan, then when I knew it really wasn’t working for me (ethical considerations aside unfortunately) swung round to eating a lot more meat and animal products, almost paleo style. While I was actively tacking hormonal issues, eating too many low calorie high volume foods like big salads might not have been doing me any good!
However it’s not always as easy as just listening to your body, as I discussed when I talked about Management v Mindfulness, I believe there needs to be a two way conversation between what your body tells you, and the information that is available to you.
It’s that approach that lead me to develop the Super Conscious Living Programme as a way of systematically listening to your body whilst experimenting with an approach, or even just living as normal and collecting information from your body and behaviours. Then you can use that information to help you make changes that result in you experiencing improved health and wellbeing. Shameless plug – the Super Conscious Living Programme is on sale this month for £4.99 ;-)
One side of all of this, particularly when you are ‘in to’ healthy living is feeling like you don’t fit in with others. I found this when I was trying to heal my hormonal issues, especially around the exercise side of it. So while everyone else might be tucking into kale salads or going off running half marathons, if you have thyroid issues or stress problems, it’s reminding yourself that those things are not part of what will make you healthy at this point in time. I love green smoothies, but if you try them and find you get a chill and feel starving half an hour later, that’s ok! Just because they are healthy for other people, doesn’t make them healthy full stop.
Do you have any health issues that mean the usual ‘healthy’ things aren’t healthy for you?