Do you find yourself searching the internet for foods and dietary guidelines that will help you correct imbalances in your body? Have you ever Googled “ways to _______”, fill in the blank. This blank can be anything from; lose weight, get healthier skin/hair, correct digestive problems, get rid of cellulite, build muscle, cure this, fix that, blah blah blah blah blah.
The truth is we’ve probably all done this in some way or another. If it’s not the internet, it’s a book, a magazine or even going to a specialist/doctor.
One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure As the old saying goes, one person’s cure may not be beneficial for the next person. When it comes to health, what works for one person may not only not work for another person but even worsen conditions. This is the idea of “biochemical individuality”. According to William L Wolcott’s “The Metabolic Typing Diet”, there is pretty profound research that back’s the truth in that each and everyone of has completely unique needs. Though our physiology’s are the same the world is so expansive, and over the many years of evolution we are constantly growing and changing. We are changing so much so that are metabolisms are affected not only by our diets but our moods, relationships and more. In Wolcott’s book he uses the famous Weston Price’s studies to prove there is no such thing as a “healthy diet” but there is a way to achieve phenomenal health through unique dietary practices. Price’s work shows that the rate of an individuals health is determined through a number of factors such as; the balance of the nervous system, and the rate at which one can convert food into energy or oxidize food.
The Changes of The Seasons Many things will affect these two factors in finding supreme health. First of all, climate has a huge factor. As seasons change both our metabolisms and nervous systems are affected. This is why it is very important to eat with the seasons. When the summer days are hot and long we need even more to stay properly hydrated. To balance the heat we should strive to eat lighter, cooler, foods such as those that grow in the seasons of spring/summer. Not only is our metabolism affected by this season change but it greatly affects our nervous systems. We get more energy, the increase of sun provides different nourishment than we are used to in the dark winter months and this affects the way we sleep and think. Summer just seems funner, we fall in love in the summer, spend more time with friends, less time working and more time playing. All these things dramatically affect the way our brains work, thus affecting our rates of digestion.
Modern Times In addition to the changed seasons, modern times has brought us way more variety. We up’s and down’s in your careers and love lives, we are influenced by media, we are flooded with electronics, and in short we have access to so much variety it’s hard to know what is best for our unique individuality. In addition to the external resources our ancestors were faced with such as climate, family, and food, we now have responsibility of managing our emotions much more, our careers, what we watch and read, what we wear and where we work. We can easily damage our metabolism for years by a break-up, the loss of a job or even by lying.
The Domino Affect When we start to look at our unique lives when approaching health and wellness we can create a beautiful domino affect. When we start being true to ourselves, letting go the past, letting go of dogma, and truly listening to our hearts as well as bodies we can get to root causes and build a foundation of health. Modern times have let us be able to do everything and anything. We could read a book that tells us to eat all bananas and nothing but bananas and if it said we’d stay young, we’d probably do it. However, we need to trust ourselves, stop searching for a fixed variable and close our minds. Our minds can destroy us when it comes to information. Instead of taking into consideration one symptom or one part of who we are such as age, genes, or blood type we should start looking at a bigger picture. We no longer have to take a chance. We no longer have to compare ourselves to others. The bigger picture for ourselves may look very different from your own relative considering your job, hobbies, likes, dislikes and ways of thinking. When you stay true to yourself you can nourish your body with foods that support your mind. If you are someone who tends to worry a little more than someone else but everything else in your life is similar that could largely affect your diet. There are certain foods that can help balance the imbalance in your nervous system that may be causing that. If you know this true to you and you approach it with lifestyle and diet you can create the domino affect of perfect health that falls afterward.
Staying True To Yourself Just because Okinawa people experienced great health and ate a diet lower in fact, high in vegetables and grains doesn’t mean you will experience that health. Now if you are living in a similar climate, have ancestral origin, and practice a similar lifestyle you might want to consider applying some of those principles, but not all. We have to take into consideration that it is a new day and age. The beauty in today’s time is that we can find ton’s of variety in our world. If you are of African decent, chances are you can find food close to what your ancestors ate without traveling too far. You can then make adjustments to your current living conditions, relationships, job, hobbies, etc. and eat a diet that not only supports your genetic code but to the biochemical and metabolic variables in your life today.
The Only Constant In Life Is Change
There are several online tests you can take that can help you find your unique metabolism. Books like “The Metabolic Typing Diet” and Paul Chek’s “How To Eat Move and Be Healthy” among others will guide you.
Tips on Taking the Tests
You may find it tricky to answer some of the questions asked. To get an idea on how to answer these questions, spend the next few weeks experimenting with food.
Week 1- Higher carbohydrate diet- 60% carbs from fruit and veggies 25% protein 15% fat.
Week 2- Mixed carbohydrate and protein diet- 40% carbs 40% protein 20% fat
Week 3- Protein type diet- 10% carbs 50% protein 40% fat
Week 4- Eat according to what you feel not adhering to any particular ratio of macro-nutrients (still aiming for a whole foods diet, sugars, artificial ingredients can create false hunger and energy) During the course of this experiment ask yourself questions such as:
- How much sleep do I get?
- When I do sleep best?
- Do I need to eat to sleep best?
- Should I avoid eating to get good sleep?
- What type of food makes me satisfied?
- How much food do I need to feel satisfied?
- What type of foods make me feel energized?
- Which family members of mine are in good health, and what are they eating?
- Which family members of mine are in good health?
- What is my digestion like when I eat a particular way?
These questions are similar to questions that will be on the test. You could also just take a test blindly then after go through this 4 week experiment, and with your knew heightened awareness of your body’s need you can retake the test with a more accurate test result that is back by experimentation.
Other Things To Consider
Your age, gender, level of stress, level of activity, and the seasons will also affect your metabolism. The point of this test and experimentation is to find out how you feel optimally most of the time. For example, I am a strong protein type. If I have any fruit in my diet I become increasingly more hungry throughout the day. It goes so far that if I eat fruit alone without protein or fat I will lose my mind, my energy levels plummet, I become mentally irritable and sometimes lean toward depression. On the contrary, it being summer I notice I can handle more carbs than usual. I stick to berries as my fruit source, but there have been times when I have even put a banana in a shake after a hot summer day workout and my body handles the carbohydrates and fructose more efficiently. At the same time, this is maybe one meal out of the day and the rest I am adhering to a strong protein type diet that is rich in fat, not to mention even when I consume a little more carbs I am always paring them with protein and plenty of fat.
Try it out, use your intuition as your guide. Remember, eating should make you feel satisfied, energized and your mentally on point. If you feel cravings, tired in any way, or irritable, stressed, worried, or your mentality is anything other than optimal you are not eating correctly. Lastly, approach everything with questions and an open-mind. This IS still yet but another scientific backed theory. Who knows if it’s all just a bunch of crap or not? We don’t. The beautiful thing about this is it allows and promotes experimentation which is the only true theory that exists. Take with it what you like and leave what you don’t. I think it’s safe to say we all know eating whole foods that are not refined and come from nature is a great idea for our health. We should ditch hybridized foods, GMO foods, processed foods and most of all be free from food. Health is truly a simple process but it goes beyond food. Experimenting with some of the theories to metabolic typing could help you free yourself of food addictions, cravings and maybe even help you see on a deeper level of how you use food. Is it a crutch? Or is it serving you. At the end of the day Jim Rohn says it best, “Enough to nourish you, and no more.”