Despite its importance, nutrition has become increasingly confusing. Why has it become so difficult? We have too many damn diets constantly thrown at us; paleo, gluten-free, high carb, ketogenic, vegetarian, diary-free, the list goes on and on. Everybody tells you their diet is correct, and every other diet is wrong or sub-optimal. Sometimes we become cult-like victims to diets even if they are not optimal for us and we do not enjoy the food. We continue to suffer because we are convinced this is the diet to help us reach our goals.


But there will never be a blanket diet that will work for everyone because every single person, is different. We have different genetics, lives, taste buds, amount of digestive enzymes, goals, you name it. When it comes to your food journey, I can’t tell you exactly what you should eat. No one can, except for you.


Take Charge of Your Food

The good news is you don’t have to subscribe to one tribe. Create your own! Be explorative and take charge of your adventure through food. Here are some guiding principles to help along the way:


  • A common thread among all of the heathiest diets is that they all stick to whole foods as much as possible: meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, eggs, and fish.
  • Eat a wide variety of produce. Focus on what is in season to help your budget go further, and the dirty dozen and clean fifteen list to learn which foods should be bought organically and which are fine conventionally.
  • Incorporate many different herbs and spices. Buying one new spice and herb per week will only run you about $4. If you do this for several weeks you will soon have a spice cabinet and herb selection that will rival world-renowned chefs.
  • Healthy fats like coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, and grass-fed butter all have unique tastes and compliment meals differently. Pair different cooking fats with different meals to really enhance your taste buds.
  • Explore different cuts of meat. Often we go with usual staples such as chicken breast or lean cuts of steak, which have the least fat and flavor. Try alternatives like thighs, loins, ribeyes, shoulders, maybe even organ meats.
  • Create fruit, herb, and vegetable infused waters to enhance your hydration experience and make sipping water more enjoyable.


Be Creative and Do Your Research

Don’t be afraid to experiment with your macros. I have athletes who do amazing with meat. Others have better success with legumes for protein. Some do very well on high amounts of carbs. Others love a ketogenic approach, while some react badly to it. You have to find what works best for your body. To pretend that there is a strict macro ratio, or universally better sources that everyone should stick to is preposterous.


Lastly, do your own research. We live in this beautiful internet age where you can find recipes everywhere online that fit your preferences. Plan your grocery trips around the recipes you would like to make that week. Create your own tribe, focus on eating a wide variety of whole foods, and make it fun!


[Headline photo credit: Pixabay]


More on exploring nutrition that will work for you:

Starving on a Full Stomach