People often say to us, “You’re Nutritional Therapists—is there a perfect diet for everyone?”
As much as we’d like to say yes, it’s simply impossible to come up with a single one-size-fits-all diet. In fact, the word “diet” comes from an ancient Greek word, “dieta”, which essentially means “all that you do in a day”.
So, your daily diet is more than just what you eat. It also includes when and how you eat, the states of your mind and body as you eat, your stress levels, your schedule, your sleep, your posture, toxins in your body, and all of the planned and unforeseen events in your day. If we can understand this broader meaning of diet, it can help us to see why each of us has different needs at different times.
The term we use to describe our unique nutritional differences and needs is “biochemical individuality”. One of our favorite tools for measuring biochemical individuality, in addition to functional and clinical assessments, is Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA). As we have mentioned throughout our website, this lab test uses a small hair sample to provide detailed information about changes in nutrient mineral levels (like calcium and magnesium) and toxic elements (like lead and mercury) in our bodies.
HTMA has been used reliably for decades by the military, facilities working with hazardous materials, and health care practitioners. From the HTMA results, specific personalized nutritional recommendations can then be made and tracked over time.
Even though we can’t recommend a one-size-fits-all diet, after years of clinical experience, we CAN say that health begins with daily lifestyle practices. We all need to support proper hydration and digestion; to sit down, pause, and chew each bite; to make time in our busy lives for periodic rest; to get plenty of sleep each night; to move often; to have loving and supportive connections with others; and to laugh often, just to name a few.
In addition, it is important to learn the subtle signs and symptoms of your body and become educated, so you can “become the expert of you” and respond appropriately to common complaints like:
- Cravings for salty foods, sugary snacks, alcohol, or caffeine
- Brain fog and chronic exhaustion
- Chronic pain and stiff joints
- Digestive imbalances like indigestion, bloating and gas after meals
As long as we are alive, our day-to-day needs are changing. Taking just a bit of time to bring awareness to your life and care for your body today supports your health tomorrow. As the old Japanese saying goes, “simple tasks, many times”. So begin with a small change to care for yourself today, and then repeat.