Over the past decade, I have experimented with dozens of diets and lifestyles. With all the noise revolving around diet and nutrition, it is no wonder people become frustrated and confused when it comes to deciding how to eat healthfully. With good health being my lifelong quest, I have sifted and sorted through fads and crazes to arrive at my own conclusions about the best ways to eat for strength, leanness and health.
In this post—the first in my special series on nutrition—I will sum up much of what I have learned about what you can do to improve your health with three key actions that make up what I call “the DES method”—Detox, Experiment and Supplement. The first step is to cut out toxic foods, especially bad grains, oils and sugars. Second, since you are unique and your needs differ from others, you can experiment to find a regimen that works best for you. Third, find the right supplements to complement your healthy meals and bring your health to the next level.
1: Detox: eliminate junk
The first step towards cutting the junk out of your diet is to know which of the “foods” out there are the most damaging and pervasive on the market. In my view, the three worst culprits are unwholesome grains, unhealthy oils and aggressive sugars. The next three entries in my nutrition series will take a closer look at each of these “food” groups.
2: Experiment: identify your personal health needs
After experimenting with a wide range of diets—including vegetarianism, veganism, paleo, low-calorie, fasting, low-carb, keto, juicing, etc.—I discovered the most satisfying way to eat for myself. While I am able to thrive on plenty of animal fats, including lots of grass fed, organic cow dairy, for instance, someone else who is lactose intolerant may need to consider alternatives. By exploring various dietary styles, you will be able to find a strategy that works for you. One size does not fit all when it comes to food tolerances.
If you are trying to discover what may be an obstacle to the progress of your health, start eliminating one food at a time from your diet to determine which one is the culprit. As you are experimenting with different foods, you will find it helpful to keep a journal and document how you feel after meals and after you systematically add or eliminate foods from your diet.
After using a daily journal, I discovered which foods have improved my health and well-being. These foods include organic, naturally raised meats, dairy and eggs, safe starches such as potatoes, plantains and white rice, ample fruits and vegetables, wholesome fats, nuts and seeds and mineral rich, antimicrobial sugars, such blackstrap molasses and honey.
3. Supplement: give your meals a boost
Many people lack full nourishment in their day because they miss meals or eat ones that are incomplete. A lack of key nutrients can lead to health problems. When meals are inadequate or scarce, supplementation can help fill in the gaps. For example, an iodine deficiency that leads to thyroid complications may benefit from iodine supplementation.
Supplements that I take daily to maintain a robust immune system include vitamin C powder (in the form of Camu Camu), vitamin D3 (in the form of absorbable cholecalciferol), K2 (in the form of fermented MK7), organic sulfur crystals, grass-fed collagen powder and desiccated grass-fed cow liver. Sometimes a smart supplement can be the missing link to a person’s journey towards better health.
As you explore a healthier way of eating, try implementing the DES method:
- Lots of products on the market, in grocery stores and in restaurants, contain unhealthy cereal grains, vegetable oils and refined sugar. Cutting these ingredients from your diet is the first step towards optimizing your health.
- Everyone is unique, so finding what works best for you is your own prerogative. Documenting how you feel after introducing and eliminating different foods can help you find the right path.
- Complementing a healthy diet with food grade supplements can help boost your immune and digestive system, improve your sleep and energy, regulate your hormones, enhance your ability to gain and maintain muscle and keep you naturally trim.
While taking these three steps into consideration, remember to enjoy your food, appreciate your meals and be mindful when preparing dishes for yourself and your loved ones.
Certified Renaissance Exercise Instructor and Consultant
With more than 10 years of experience as an exercise instructor and consultant, I am continuously searching for ways to optimize health and fitness.
My quest for perfect health and natural beauty has led me to some of the best workout routines, nutritional guidance and lifestyle habits that have given me fantastic results.