There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to diet and exercise. Just like the same type of yoga may not work for every person, or even the same person on different days. Each individual needs different types of “fuel”, be it food, physical activity, rest or meditation to take optimal care of themselves. The Flow Blog is excited to welcome back noted wellness coach Lauri Bosseman, and hear what she has to say about why your best friend’s ideal diet may not be yours.
Over the years, I have tried every imaginable diet. I’d lose weight with some more than others. On certain eating plans, I’d feel sluggish with my head in a fog. On others, I’d have super human energy. Why is that? It’s because we are all biologically different, and react differently to various food combinations. It’s also why my ideal diet is not your ideal diet. Just because your friend looks and feels fabulous as a vegan, does not mean you will have the same results. This theory is called Bio-individuality and it is based on genetics, blood type, cultural background, age, activity level, gender and nutritional typing.
So how do you find your ideal diet? Try these three simple steps to begin the process.
1. Experiment with foods. Which foods make you feel tired, which give you energy? Journal your food experiences.
2. Research dietary theories. Examine the fact about the most nutritionally dense foods coming from the dairy and cattle industries. A better understanding of how our society is eating in comparison to our ancestors can give you context for informed food choices and overall decision making. Would your great grandparents recognize the food you’re feeding yourself and your family?
3. Redefine the way you look at what you eat. Is the food you are eating truly nourishing your body, or are you eating for the wrong reasons – instant gratification, comfort, to feel full? Focus on eating fresh, local and seasonally. Eat the way your great grandparents ate, when resources were scare. This will guide you to your ideal diet.
Today’s Food Focus: Quinoa
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah), is a nutritional powerhouse with ancient origins. It was originally cultivated by the Incas more than 5,000 years ago; they referred to it as the “mother of all grains.” It contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a great source of protein for vegetarians. Quinoa is also high in magnesium, fiber, calcium, phosphorus, iron, copper, manganese, riboflavin and zinc. While quinoa is widely considered a grain, it’s actually the seed of a plant called Chenopodium or Goosefoot, related to chard and spinach. Quinoa is a gluten-free grain and has a similar effect to other whole grains in helping to stabilize blood sugar.
It has a waxy protective coating called saponin which can leave a bitter taste. For best results, rinse quinoa before you cook it or even soak it for a few hours or overnight. When cooked, it has a fluffy, slightly crunchy texture. Try it in soups, salads, as a breakfast porridge or as its own side dish. For quinoa, and whole grains in general, the majority of digestion occurs in the mouth through chewing and exposure to saliva. For optimal nutrition and assimilation, it is vital to chew your grains well and with awareness. A great meditation is to find a calm place, without distractions, to sit down for your meal. Make it a habit to chew each bite 20 times or more. See how this simple practice can help your digestion and overall focus for the rest of your day.
Recipe of the Month: Quinoa Pilaf
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cooking Time: 30-40 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
1 cup quinoa
2 1/4 cups water or stock
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
pinch of salt
1. Rinse quinoa in fine mesh strainer until water runs clear.
2. Boil the water and add quinoa and salt, cover and reduce heat.
3. After 15 minutes, add cranberries and walnuts to top; do not stir.
4. Cook 5 minutes more, until all the liquid is absorbed.
5. Remove from heat, add parsley and fluff with fork, cover and let sit for 3-5 minutes and serve.
Could it all be that simple? Absolutely, and delicious too.