Don't we all ask that question from time to time? Maybe not everyone, of course, but those of us who are seeking to eat healthy. As I wrote on my Healthy Eating tab above,
I know there's a lot of conflicting information out there about eating healthy and that can get frustrating.
What you WON'T get from my blog is some definite THIS IS THE BEST WAY TO EAT! statements over and over. I have a hard time listening to people preach that it's their way of eating or else. I don't mind if people tell me what works best for them or a friend. But I don't believe there's a one size fits all approach to eating.
That being said, I think some things are obvious. 1) Some foods are not good for our bodies, in fact they are downright destructive. I used to have this belief that since our bodies are amazing creations, they are able to excrete anything that they don't need, so it's okay to eat some tasty treats that aren't good for us. Yes and no. Yes, it's okay in the sense that many people go years without any negative affects and our bodies can cleanse and heal. BUT some foods or chemicals in food are toxic to our bodies and can cause illness and damage. 2) Some foods are packed with micronutrients that can benefit our bodies in tremendous ways.
I tend to look to Dr. Joel Furhman for his Nutrient Density approach. Am I perfect with eating the Nutritarian way? Not at all. But I keep working in that direction and at certain times of my life, I've done really well with it (and have felt absolutely wonderful!)
So what IS the BEST way to eat? Is it different from person to person? Is it different at different phases of any one person's life? I think the answer is yes to each of those. Some people don't feel "right" if they haven't eaten meat in awhile. I feel lousy for several hours (maybe even 24) when I do. I feel great when I eat a TON of fruit. Others would have digestive issues if they did. There have been books written about differing blood types deeming what one body may need and another not. I've never read those books, but I have heard the theories -- I guess that's possible, but there could be many reasons why we differ in our nutritional needs. Nonetheless, there are foods that are toxic to all and foods that can benefit all. But I doubt there's a one size fits all approach to optimal health.
I once read how a mother's milk changes not only from week to week as the baby grows, but also throughout each day. What a baby needs in the morning is different from what he or she needs later in the day and the milk changes as a result. Pretty cool, huh? I'd love to understand my body well enough to know what it needs and when (and then have the control to feed it that and the ability to make it taste super yummy! :) ) I imagine that my body has different needs now in my late 40's than it did as a child, teen or young mother.
It's a path I'd like to explore for sure.
Photo courtesy of Judit Klein