Men…This One’s For You

By: Amy Bondar

When it comes to health, men have a lot to think about. Elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, hypertension, heart disease, elevated PSA and other prostate problems, low libido, low immunity, heartburn, a growing mid-section, aches and pains, poor sleep and high stress.  At the root of most of these health challenges is low testosterone.

Naturally as men age, testosterone levels drop and estrogen increases which can trigger a cascade of undesirables. Ever wonder why some men develop breasts, a growing belly and a shrinking ____?!   Testosterone levels begin to drop when men hit their 20’s and according to Brad King in The Beer Belly Blues “the presence of excessive estrogen inhibits the production of natural testosterone, which in turn reduces muscle mass, leads to prostate problems, a low libido, erectile dysfunction and in some cases cancer. In fact, it is well known that men can produce more estrogen than women by retirement age.”

Estrogen becomes elevated due to the consumption of excess sugar and refined carbohydrates, alcohol, soy intake (especially from hydrogenated soybean oil found in many processed packaged foods), environmental toxins (xenoestrogens –  found in shampoo, shaving cream, after-shave, antiperspirant, to name a few) and elevated insulin (which gets elevated as a result of skipping meals and taking in too much sugar, alcohol and coffee). The good news is there is a great deal we can do with the power of foods to increase testosterone, improve so many of men’s health challenges and to help keep the testosterone: estrogen ratio in better balance.

1.    Consume clean, lean, quality protein at every meal(whey protein isolate or hemp protein powder, free-range eggs, lean poultry free- from hormones and antibiotics, grass-fed beef, bison and other wild game meat, lamb, wild-caught fish, seafood and legumes. Protein is high in zinc, B-vitamins and amino acids which is important for the production of lean muscle mass, testosterone, neurotransmitters in the brain and energy.

2.    Increase zinc rich foods as zinc is essential for the production of testosterone and haven’t you heard… “zinc for your dink!”. Consume raw unsalted pumpkin seeds, 100% natural pumpkin seed butter, sunflower seeds and sunflower butter, grass-fed beef or bison, oysters and other seafood, wheat germ, spinach and mushrooms.

3.    Increase essential fats in the diet to keep you satisfied, satiated, free of cravings, and to produce good cholesterol, feed and fuel the brain, balance insulin (which helps keep estrogen in check) and to lubricate the joints. Consume raw nuts and seeds, nut butters, extra virgin olive oil, avocado, olives, hemp seed, hemp oil, ground flaxseed (pulls excess estrogen out of the body), chia seeds, salba seeds, coconut oil, organic butter or clarified butter, and therapeutic omega 3 supplements.

4.    Eat your cruciferous vegetables – broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, Swiss chard and watercress. The Indole-3 Carbinol (I3C) found in these vegetables helps to pull out bad estrogen in the body which can help maintain safer estrogen to testosterone levels. They also help to prevent prostate cancer and support liver detoxification.

5.    Eat Lycopene for prostate health. Cooked tomatoes are a great source, including tomato sauces, tomato paste and tomato soup. Grapefruit, guava, papaya and watermelon are also high in lycopene.

Read the rest over at www.amybondar.com

 

 

Get Your Fitness Over the Wall

Get Your Fitness Over the Wall

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Legs, grip, core and endurance get you over any obstacle

By Sean Sweeney; Photography by Neil Zeller; Facility provided by Cor.Fit

Thousands of people spend weekends getting sweaty, muddy, confused and, let’s face it, bloody, all in the name of fun and fitness in obstacle course racing.

Whether you are a beginner or seasoned off-road athlete, here are some training tips to get you fit for an OCR event or to tackle anything Mother Nature throws at you. While training on the obstacles themselves is ideal, an athlete can easily adapt these tips and workout to a home routine. Let’s get started!

Warm-Up

Begin with an easy 5-8 minute run that changes direction (sideways, backwards and laterally). Add 10 full-extension lunges, 10 burpees and 40 jumping jacks.

Workout

1. Get a leg up

Training legs builds the strength and explosiveness needed to overcome many obstacles. Most people tend to rely on upper body strength in OCR, however muscling through an obstacle with your arms and shoulders may not be the best option, especially on longer races. Your upper body will fatigue much faster than your legs.

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A. Scissor Lunges (Tabata style)

  • Begin with left foot forward, bent 90 degrees at the knee. Lower knee of  trailing leg almost to the ground. Bring hands to chest and explode to a full extension jump so feet switch positions.

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B. Squat Jumps

  • With toes pointed out and feet shoulder width, squat as low as possible. Bring hands in front of your chest and explode out of the squat into a high jump. Land softly with bent knees.

Go hard for 20 seconds and rest 10 seconds, first with squat jumps, then scissor lunges and repeat 8 times.

2. Get a grip
Training grip strength will be key to any hang or hold obstacle. Hanging not only becomes a life-skill, but will save you from doing penalty burpees.

See the rest over at Impact Magazine

So You Want to Be a Vegetarian Runner…

So you want to be a Vegetarian Runner…

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Nutrition facts you need to know

By Samara Felesky-Hunt

Photography and recipes provided by Dairy Farmers of Canada and Canadian Lentils

Every runner can maintain or improve athletic performance on a well planned vegetarian diet. Choosing the right nutrient-dense plant foods can help you reach your peak performance. Here’s what you need to know:

Calories = Energy

The energy needs of a vegetarian athlete depend on body weight and composition, gender and training level. Vegetarians may need to eat 10-15 per cent more calories because of the reduced digestibility of high-fibre whole foods. If you train more than three times a week, energy requirements can be as high as 6,000 calories a day. If you find it hard to maintain weight during training, you may need to eat more frequently and consume more high-energy foods, such as nuts, oils and avocados. Eating the right foods will replenish your glycogen stores, add protein to build and repair muscle tissue and provide essential fatty acids to transport fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K. Not meeting energy needs can impair performance, immunity, healing and increase your risk of injury.

Carbohydrates = Fuel of Choice

Carbohydrate-rich food helps a vegetarian athlete exercise longer and with more intensity. Consume a wide variety of whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds to provide high-energy fuel.

Protein = Fuel for the Machine

Vegetarian athletes should consume more protein than non-vegetarians; 1.3—1.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight daily. This is 10-15 per cent more than for a non-vegetarian, particularly in the early stages of training.

Mindful Minerals and B12

A vegetarian athlete’s mineral status can have a profound affect on performance. Vegetarians need almost twice the iron of non-vegetarians because non-heme iron from plant foods is not as well absorbed and physical activity can induce iron loss through sweat and destruction of red blood cells. Iron deficiency leads to fatigue and may impair your performance. Sprouting legumes, grains and lentils break down phytates and makes iron more available. Zinc is necessary for metabolism of nutrients and for healing injuries. Zinc needs also increase with intense exercise, as the mineral  can be lost in perspiration.

If you avoid dairy, include other foods rich in calcium, such as almonds, figs, legumes, tahini, tofu set with calcium, turnip greens, white and navy beans, broccoli. Be sure to check nutrition labels on a regular basis. If insufficient B vitamins are consumed it can impair aerobic power by reducing breakdown of lactic acid and processing amino acids. Vitamin B12 is found naturally only in animal products, so if you don’t eat eggs or dairy, include foods fortified with B12.


4 Steps to a Vegetarian Performance Diet

Eat More whole grains
Try millet, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa, pot barley and teff.

Explore Vegetables
Cook with Asian, root and exotic vegetables. Try Chinese cabbage, kalettes, okra, Swiss chard and turnips. Turn zucchini, beets or carrots into noodles using a spiralizer. Add pureed sweet potato to soups.

Build with Iron-Rich foods
Tofu, legumes, dried fruits, dark greens and pumpkin seeds are high in iron. Include vitamin C to help your body absorb the non-heme iron. Citrus fruits, kiwi, strawberries, tomatoes, bell peppers and broccoli will boost iron absorption. Tea and coffee during meals inhibit iron absorption.

Try new proteins
Eat extra firm tofu, pumpkin and hemp seeds, lentils, chickpeas, soybeans, kidney and black beans, nut butters, almonds, fortified soy beverages, whole grains and legumes.

Read the rest over at Impact Magazine. 

 

Why Running a Marathon is Just Like Sex

It’s only good if you want to do it

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By Pete Estabrooks

My brilliant niece Jessie called recently about advice on committing to a marathon. The simple story: she had a friend who wanted to run a marathon; said friend wanted a partner and the athletic, ambitious Jessie seemed a good choice.

As we spoke, I sensed Jess was feeling somewhat interested, but more obligated. Prior to commitment, doing due diligence, Jessie sought out my guidance by asking specific questions. In how short a time could she prepare for the event? What was the least amount of running that would maximize performance and at the same time minimize the risk of injury? Did I think it was a good idea?

After hearing the first two questions I was easily able to answer the last one this way: “No, it’s a bad idea.”

As I struggled trying to find an analogy, I was able to get this point across. If you have to make time to run a marathon, it is not a good time to run a marathon.

Popular culture has replaced truth with mythology and removed the magic from the marathon story. The myth — anyone can run a marathon — is that, a myth. Life isn’t fair. Hard work, time, serious training, as well as the right genetics all play a role.

With all that on your side, your chances to complete a marathon are good, but not guaranteed. The magic is (if you’ve run a marathon you know this) people will sign up for a second, third, fourth or 50th marathon. A marathon hurts. It doesn’t matter if you run 2 hours 10 minutes or 5 hours 50 minutes. It hurts.

Is there an amazing sense of accomplishment, a sense of wonder and achievement in finishing a marathon?

Yes. Does it hurt? Absolutely. It often seems like so many people have run a marathon that we forget it is a statistically rare event. Not everyone can, not everyone should and not everyone needs to run a marathon. It’s a cool gig if you choose to, a bad deal if you are choosing to do it for someone else.

Here’s why. The authentic marathon magic is two-fold. First, it is a terrific feat and force of nature to run 42.2K. It feels special because it is special. Second, after two days, you forget it ever hurt at all and you begin to tell your friends, “That was so cool, you should do that.”

Maybe you even propose, “We should do that.” Maybe you even lean on them a little, just a little, because you think the magic would be good for them.

Regardless of what you think the experience would add to their lives, this is not your choice. A marathon is a decision everyone has the right to arrive at by him or herself. Maybe you should shut up.

I finally figured out the analogy (too late to tell Jessie) that cut to the heart of the matter. Running a marathon is like having sex.

Running is fun; sex is fun. Running is often great; sex often also great. Practiced properly running can create an amazing human experience; practiced properly, sex can also be a mind-blowing human experience.

Training to run a marathon gives you a regular schedule and provides a long-term goal. Training for sex is an easier schedule to adhere to, provides a short-term “wow, was that good for you?” physical goal and a long term “wow, was that good for us?” emotional goal.

Running a marathon with a partner is fun, as is occasionally running one on your own. Sex? … You get the drift.

Most importantly, neither running a marathon nor having sex is ever something you should consider because someone else thinks it’s a good idea. This is your choice, yours alone and when the time is right, you’ll know.

Written for Impact Magazines March/April 2016 Issue

Yogaaahhh

3 great poses to stretch your recovery time

By Jeff Grace 

Photography by Lachlin and Emily Photography

With another race season in the bank, most fair-weather athletes will turn their focus to recovery and regeneration in what is their transition phase.

Yoga can play a key role in allowing an athlete to enter their preparation phases of training next spring motivated and in good health.

Building yoga into a winter training plan can help insulate an athlete from injury, develop weaker muscles and refresh the mind.

Three common injuries that can plague cyclists, runners and triathletes include; IT band syndrome, patellofemoral syndrome and shoulder injuries.

The following three poses can help prevent these injuries by both strengthening and lengthening muscles that are not always focused on in the other phases of training.

Extended Child’s Pose (Balasana)

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  • Goal: To release and strengthen the upper and mid-back muscles.
  • How to do it: Kneeling down, place your big toes together and your knees out wide. Bend forward from the hips extending the arms out in front of you feeling a stretch in both sides of the back. At the same time, press your fingertips into the ground and feel as if you are pulling the mat back toward your armpits. This should feel like the upper arm is being sucked back into the shoulder socket.
  • How long to hold: Pre-workout routine it should be held for approximately 30 seconds. Post-workout, it can be held from 30 seconds up to three minutes.

 

Chair Pose (Utakasana)

chair pose

  • Goal: To strengthen quadriceps, glutes and raise awareness in the shoulders.
  • How to do it: Connect strongly to the mat through your toes and heels. Inhale and raise arms overhead, ensuring the upper traps are relaxed and pull the shoulder blades back and down. Exhale and shift your weight bringing the hips back as if you were sitting into a chair. Keep your knees behind the toes and the upper body in a vertical position with the hips in a neutral position.
  • How long to hold: This pose can be held anywhere from 15 seconds to one minute. The length should be built up in a progressive manner.

Learn the others over at Impact Magazine

Mega Flu Fighter Recipe

Delicious spicy soup to get you back on your feet

Flufighterrecipe

Story and Photography By Danielle Arsenault

Garlic, ginger, serrano chili, lime and cilantro all have detoxification properties and can help kick that cold before it even arrives. Here’s why.

Garlic is revered due to its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. It has the power to reduce yeast overgrowth, stimulate the production of glutathione, which helps eliminate toxic build-up and strengthen our immune system. Ginger has been used for centuries to stoke digestive fires, calm indigestion, promote circulation and facilitate the assimilation of nutrients. Serrano chillies contain capsacin, a chemical compound found in all spicy chilis known to provide relief for irritable bowel disease sufferers (it worked for me!). Capsacin is a potent anti-inflammatory and when ingested or applied topically in a cream, has been proven to reduce pain, headaches and sinus symptoms. Lime gives soup a nice kick and stimulates the digestive system, enhances alkalinity within and increases secretion of digestive juices. Cilantro is known to chelate heavy metals, thus ridding the body of unwanted toxins. Being a strong anti-oxidant, it helps to lower the risk of oxidative stress in cells that may become carcinogenic.

Get the full recipe over at Impact Magazine

Been There, Run That. A Tail of Two Trails

PetePhoto2

By: Pete Estabrooks

Luckily once you’ve tired of the sun the sand and the surf Maui is still a runner’s paradise its elevation humidity and warm ocean breezes make any stint on your legs adventure and not exercise with each side of the island offering spectacular runs; Paia Bay to Baldwin Beach to Kahalui, tourist central Kihea to Makena Beach, along the Hana Highway, north from D.T. Flemming Beach to the view over Honolua Bay or an ultra-run on the wide paved shoulders up the Haleakala volcano it’s all the same, beautiful.  For the curious and avid runner though there are two trails that span the incredible dichotomy of the Valley Island.

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On the dry side is the Lahaina Pali trail, 8.5 kilometers of rugged, scorched earth power, scenery forever and awesome silence. Accessible via a parking lot on the Ukumehame side the trailhead is easy to find, pass through the only tunnel on the Honoapiilani highway to Lahaina down the hill and pull over to your right.  From the first few steps on a hand-paved path built hundreds of years ago it becomes apparent this is not a sprint but an exercise in focus and foot placement. Climbing steadily uphill the first three kilometers the Pali trail winds in a labyrinth fashion removing you from the sights and sounds of civilization ascending into the quiet valleys, nooks and crannies of the island. Transported into a primordial peace and quiet points you are stepping on the exact spot where Maui rose from the ocean eons ago. Before you can wrap your head completely around that thought a visceral hum and unearthly vibration pulls you out of your reverie and moves you from the beginning of time to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 as you gaze in amazement at the dimensions of a single wind tower. Within meters the tower has grown to a cluster of turbines and you crest the hill onto the Kealalooa Ridge understanding immediately the tower placement when you are buffeted by the warm howling trade winds common to Hawaii. From here its fast, the view of Maalaea harbor and Kihea draw you along easily navigated dirt packed downhill path along looping switchbacks that end in the Maalaea side parking lot. That’s 8.5 kilometers of fun; a quick spin on your heels and with the wind at your back the return is almost easier.

 

 

High on the other side of the island the Makawao Forest trail runs a similar distance but a world apart. Head out of the cowboy town of Makawao towards Haiku on Piiholo Rd, follow the sign to Piiholo Ranch then turn right on Kahakapao Rd and continue onward and upward for 6 kilometers pulling into the obvious parking lot.  Follow the wide path exiting the lot down to the trailhead.  Start your run on the west loop the uphill along the winding continuous uphill trail so silent that the only sounds are your lungs working and your feet on the soft path and exotic leaves underfoot. Once the path levels out and you can look at just the tops of your shoes massive trees and lush vegetation surround you weaving into a canopy so thick that should it be raining the only evidence you’ll have is the rhythmic lull of raindrops on leaves overhead.  Stay tight to the trail avoiding Fong ridge (nothing bad, just longer) and finish the east loop allows you to breathe in the smell of the eucalyptus and pine as you pick up speed and rocket downhill back to the trailhead. 8 Kilometers running in the land before time, if you have time turn around and run back for the same uphill start downhill fun finish.

 

 

Be Bold Run Cold

Embrace the high of running cold this winter

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By Pete Estabrooks
Photography by Birgitta Sjöstedt

“I know where you are going. I’ve been there. I know what you’ll feel. I’ve felt that. I know it makes no sense. It’s senseless. I know you are going to do it. I am.”

These thoughts rattle through my head rhythmically, haiku-like, punctuated by my breathing, the poetry befitting a steep downhill descent. I’m running one of my favourite trails in reverse. It’s late fall and I’m preparing myself for winter. Summer’s warmth is acquiescing to the chill of an October morning as I begin to run, only to stop, turn around and rummage through the back seat of my Jeep for another layer before returning to face the day.

I am beginning my run from where I usually end and running to where I normally start. It’s a ritual that marks the changing of the season, something I do to clarify a mindset that prepares me for running in beautiful, brilliant brutal cold weather.

I’m writing this now and you will be reading this then. You will be in the thick of it, not remembering what the trees looked like with leaves. You’ll have forgotten what it feels like to run on unfrozen, unfettered, dry trail or pavement and no run will be started on the spur of the moment. Winter running is a beast.

There are few, if any, physiological benefits to running at -20C. If you want to increase your speed this winter, run intervals on a treadmill. If you want to increase your endurance, run long on a treadmill. If you want to increase your strength find a tower with indoor stairs, or run hills — on a treadmill. These are running plans that make perfect, practical sense.

Winter, however, is a time for mental toughness. Running afraid for life and limb provides the ability to focus in a way not required at other times of the year. Being aware of environmental danger and developing the skills necessary to protect yourself in adverse conditions builds huge running confidence. Displaying your ability to overcome obstacles will stick with you in any tough run situation. Freezing your ass off a couple of times a year also leaves a grand appreciation for shorts, singlets, ankle socks and the months April through October.

Be clear, I am an advocate for cold weather running, not risky behaviour. Running cold and running unprepared are different animals. Both can entail running in malevolent conditions. Running cold requires proper clothing, tuning in a weather report, knowing terrain and charting backup plans A, B and C. Running unprepared is just stupid, regardless of the season.

Winter is a time to embrace more than running’s practical benefits. There are soul-stirring reasons to running incredibly cold. Dialling into even a single “winter runner’s high” makes months of favouring your fingers, covering your ears and double-wrapping your most personal parts seem an insignificant price to pay.

Waiting for you is a sense of beauty, peace and calm that transcends temperature. In these moments your senses are suspended and the part of you that is all of you and only you becomes animated. Thoughts are clear. The answers are there. The moment is complete. You tap into a supernatural world where you are reduced to paying attention to the sound of your breathing, the sound of your feet crunching snow underfoot. Sometimes, it is the utterly awesome sound of nothing at all.

This all-consuming, omnipresent, ethereal feeling feeds the quiet part of yourself that is neglected amid the noise and clutter that is the necessity of our busy lives, connecting our bodies with the peace that resides deep within us.

Sometimes running incredibly cold is just running incredibly cold, a ballsy effort filed away in your “I am an idiot, and I’m never doing that again” drawer. But other times there is a moment of magic just outside your door that you’ll never know unless you put your shoes on and snow up.

Click to view this article in IMPACT Magazine’s November/December 2015 Winter Running & Sports Issue.

A Runner’s Rant on Rubbish

A Runner’s Rant on Rubbish

BY IAN MacNAIRN

JA14 trash

I’ve developed a keen sense for rubbish. I’ve honed my talent as a master of garbage, the Lord of Litter. Maybe it’s a product of my upbringing or from picking up after kids of my own, but I cannot pass by trash. I’ve tried.

To be sure, races are no time to stop and smell the flowers, let alone be filling my pockets with debris. However, every run I return with strange junk.

It boggles my mind. How are these routes lined with as much debris as I find? It is, unarguably, a treasure to have trails near home in the mountains and at home in the city. It is, then, an even greater gift to have the ability to trace these routes of the earth. Do other trail users not feel similarly? They must!

Sadly, regardless of sentiment, I find the proof is in the pudding (that is, if the trail is quite muddy).

Sure, some will express that much of the trash is left unknowingly, accidentally. Sure, I agree.

That said, ignorance should be no solace. As runners, cyclists, climbers and hikers, we are responsible for our actions and in pursuing adventure in the world around us, are thereby tasked with being stewards of our land.

Much of the debris I’ve gathered is rather mundane, such as empty plastic bags. Other items are evidently misplaced gear such as the lost bear-bell. While still not acceptable, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone tossed the bell after realizing how annoying it really was.

Some of the litter is bizarre, like a baggie of crushed crystals. I can’t say for sure, but I’m pretty confident that someone discarded an old urinal cake on the single-track.

Weird.

Some trash doesn’t make a lot of sense. A tag from a recently purchased camp chair would make sense to me in a campground. But 10 kilometres into the backcountry with no campsite in walking distance? A sizing tag from a pair of jeans in the front-range forest? A Calgary Transit ticket near Banff?

Lots of trash is gross, such as a trail of used bandages I picked-up descending Whistlers in Jasper or ribbons of used toilet tissue.

One time, I came across a plastic bag with dog poop. I get it; dogs poop outside. Other animals in the woods do, too. If you take your dog off-trail, 12 kilometres from the nearest trailhead, why on earth would you bother to bag your dog’s droppings? I wouldn’t hike my dog’s poop out and neither did this trail-er. My suggestion: let it decompose in the forest! No need to trap it for millennia in plastic amid the forest critters.

To me, the greatest affront of all is the trash left from trail-side snackers. Rather than pocketing the gel tab or bar wrapper, it is left to the ground. I’ve found juice boxes, beer cans, plastic packaging and utensils, coffee cups and lids and — worst of all — energy-food shrapnel from trail runners and cyclists.

These are folks who tend to be health-focused, often otherwise quite intelligent and obviously physically capable. By far, the majority of trash I stash comes from people who consume many gels, chews or bars on every outing. The fluorescent and sticky packages are obvious eyesores as well as threats to curious critters.

Mea Culpa; I have dropped a packet tab or two in my running. I am part of the culture and participate in all ways, including those that are consumptive and potentially detrimental. However, this is no excuse.

This is my call to everyone who uses trails:

• Be aware of the consequences of consuming while out on the land.

• Pitch in, take responsibility and help make the trails we share cleaner than when we got here.

Read the rest over at Impact Magazine

From Vegan to Paleo and Everything In Between

By: Amy Bondar

food

I was at the book store the other day and walked into the “Health and Wellness” section, scanned all the books sitting prettily on the shelves, turned around and walked right back out! To be honest, I was kind of turned off. Hundreds and hundreds of books line the bookshelves all promoting something different and all promising their way is the way.

It tends to leave one feeling overwhelmed, confused, dizzy, and stifled.  Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Grain free, Pro-grain, 100 Mile Diet, Raw Food Diet, Cooked diet, Mediterranean, Okinawa, South Beach, High Fat, Low Fat, Diet vs Undiet, Fast Diet, Slow Down Diet, and on and on and on…

So which one is right? The truth is, there is no perfect diet, no right diet and no one-way-to-eat diet.

Each nutrition book on the market has value, and offers interesting teachings, insights and tips (some more than others). There is wisdom in all the different nutritional plans that are out there.  But the only one that is right, in my opinion, is the one that feels right for you in the moment.

We can’t stick to one way of eating for a lifetime. It defies nature. Just as foods change with each season, what we eat needs to change at difference stages and phases in our lives. What we eat when it is cold is different than what we need to eat when it is hot. What we eat when we are in our early 20’s needs to be different during menopause or andropause. What we eat when we are pregnant, training for a marathon or body building, will be different when those phases are over. What we need to eat to treat an illness or condition will be different when the body is healed.

The best diet is the one that changes and evolves with you throughout your life. If there is a specific way you want to try to eat, go for it. Get on the Vegan or Paleo train or whatever calls you, and see how it feels. The key is to be open to changing it when it doesn’t feel right anymore.

The greatest thing you can do is listen to your body wisdom and your inner nutritionist. If you are interested in following a specific diet, what parts of it resonate with you and are you inspired to try? What parts would you like to ignore and leave out?  You will know if what you are eating is right for you if it provides you pleasure, energy, makes you feel satisfied, satiated and free of cravings, helps you to feel mentally focused and emotionally balanced.

No matter what you try, I do believe that the following are the most important nutritional ingredients to add to whatever way of eating you choose.

  1. Believe that what you eat matters
  2. Eat real food
  3. Eat a diet full of color
  4. Listen to your body
  5. Be grateful and care about the food you eat
  6. Eat with pleasure and joy

From Vegan to Paleo and everything in between, there is room to explore, experiment and be open to change.

Read more of Amy’s articles at www.amybondar.com