Low fat, low cholesterol, lean meats, no salt and low sugar was the rule when I started in the fitness industry 15 years ago. Luckily, 3 1/2 years ago I stopped following the trends. I was fortunate to stumble upon the most frustrating experience of my life. It started with an elimination process. I cut all potential allergens out of my diet – sugar, dairy, soy, gluten, alcohol, caffeine. This was done slowly over three weeks. I kept a food journal that kept track of energy, sleep, mood, bowel movements, etc. after every meal. It was nitty gritty.
At that time in my life, I was dealing with allergies, mood swings, low blood sugar, exhaustion, infrequent bowel movements and painful menstrual cramps. 25 years old, with more complaints than I could count. After cutting all the allergens out of my diet, my mood stabilized, I could go 4-5 hours between meals without snacking, I started thinking more clearly and my allergies disappeared. It sounds too good to be true, but it happened.
The best diet you can follow is the one that is good for you.
Knowing anatomy helps you navigate the many exercise techniques out there – knowing your body helps you navigate the various diets available. By paying attention to my body, I found out that dairy causes a ton of phlegm to build up in my system, gluten makes it hard for me to think clearly and makes me tired, sugar increases my appetite, caffeine makes me anxious.
It’s not that those foods are “bad”, they just have a specific reaction in my body. I have to make a choice when I’m craving them. I can use will power, I can find something similar to eat or I can deal with the consequences. Many people choose to deal with the consequences day in and day out. I’ve watched many people’s attitude completely change after eating gluten. I’ve been the observer of jittery anxiety during a coffee date. I see people start sneezing and rubbing their eyes when they’ve had too much sugar or gluten.
Once you get clean, it’s hard to go back.