My 3 Nutrition Guidelines

In the past, I’ve posted on why I love helping people eat well.  So honor of National RD day, here are my 3 key nutrition rules…

So many people ask about diets.  Should I be on a gluten-free diet?  How about Paleo? Vegan? How about SCD, GAPS, Ornish?  Wait, how about the blood type diet? You get the idea.

My answer for all is, it depends, aside from people with Celiac or allergies, where there is more of a clear-cut answer.  All diets seem to try to sell us on the idea that it’s the one and only viable option, and that just isn’t so.

The guidelines that I do think that EVERYONE should follow:

  • Real, unprocessed foods: veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, etc…
  • Minimizing sweeteners
  • Mindful enjoyment of food!

I have yet to meet someone who feels wonderfully eating a lot of processed foods, or someone who simply needs more Twinkies to enhance their health.  And mindfulness is a beautiful way of enjoying food more, and builds in a natural regulation of fullness, too.  I think that these guidelines have to a cornerstone of any healthy way of eating.  The rest (i.e. whether it contains fish, or beans, or grains, or whatever) is just details.  My job is to help make it tasty, easy, balanced, affordable and doable.

As far as all the diets out there, what foods make us feel good differs.  I, for one, feel absolutely awful on a vegan diet.  Because of environmental and animal welfare concerns, I have tried and my body is adamantly against it!  I feel better without grains, and was grain and bean-free for years.  But after leaving them out for years, I realized beans don’t bother me, and I enjoy them tremendously, hence they’re back.  That’s not for everyone.  I do have clients that have arthritis flares when they eat meat, or who experience great improvements in heart function on an Ornish-style, whole-grain diet and I respect that, too.

Disclaimer: anyone who knows me knows I’m biased toward a gluten-free diet.  Given that most of the people I see have Celiac, gluten sensitivity, IBS or other autoimmune disorders, this bias is logical.

So let’s keep it simple…there’s not one answer.  Listen to your body, feed it good food, learn to respect the messages you’re getting, and savor your food!

About Cheryl Harris

Life played a funny trick on me. I've studied nutrition for years, and much to my surprise, found out that I could manage many of my health issues via diet. I've been GF for years, and I've got a bunch of allergies and sensitivities. But it definitely doesn't keep me from cooking, baking and enjoying my food. Thanks for stopping by.
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6 Responses to My 3 Nutrition Guidelines

  1. Morri says:

    I distinctly remember having a similar conversation with you earlier this week. ;)

    But it’s true. I started realizing after our talk that I shouldn’t treat my body like it was a baby, like it would fall down after walking a few steps or stick its fingers in crevices unknown. The minute I started saying “Eat what you want and do what you need to do”, I found myself significantly happier and weighing no more that I did before. So what if I’m not low-carb? So what if I have some honey in my tea? So what if I have that extra tablespoon of nut butter? My body is asking for it for a reason, and listening to it has made me a happier person.

    If there is anything you have taught me in the year since we’ve met, Cheryl, it’s this: “Food is the fuel that keeps me going, not the anchor that weighs me down.” Without food, I wouldn’t be able to run or rock climb or (as of today) do yoga. Food is grounding, something that heals my body from all the work it does each day.

    So thank you for this post, hon. Its message hit home this time.

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  3. Great advice, Cheryl! Simple enough, IF we stick to it. :-)

    Shirley

  4. I really really love this Cheryl, eat real whole foods that work for your body and learn how to be mindful. I am slowly, slowly learning this! :-) Kind of like for me, potatoes don’t make me feel bad, so I still include them on a “paleo-ish” diet… I love that really you just have to find foods that work well for your body, eat them with care and limit sugar… i’m getting there! (and praying that eventually weight loss will follow! lol)

  5. CrystalJane says:

    Thank you for this post Cheryl! I have recently started a food blog that includes recipes that are gluten free, dairy free and with no refined sugars. I have a lot of friends and family asking me what my ‘rules’ are and complaining they could never live without cheese/bread/sugar.. etc, or being shocked when they see me eating chocolate! I encourage them to eat nothing that’s processed but they seem to find this ‘rule’ too broad. This post really says it all. Be aware of what your body wants and how it reacts to foods. Enjoy good whole foods and make your own rules that suit your personal bodies needs!
    Thanks again.
    Crystal

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