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Find the Right Fit for You?

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What is the right nutrition plan for you? For many of us, a nutrition journey is part of our fitness journey. We work hard in the gym and want to make the most of it by eating healthy. For others, it may not be a top priority at the moment. Regardless of where you find yourself in terms of nutrition, it can be one of those sensitive topics, like politics and religion.

My journey with healthy nutrition and clean eating started in 2011 when it was recommended that my son avoid eating gluten. At the time he was eight and I thought it wouldn’t be fair for him to go through a diet change by himself. So, I decided to make some changes to my diet as well. We avoided processed foods and foods containing gluten. For him, it solved stomach and skin problems, and for me it was an eye opening experience. I felt less bloated and had more energy. About the same time, I started CrossFit and several people were following the Paleo diet. I jumped on that wagon right away! I started doing research about nutrition, trying different recipes, reading blogs etc. Unfortunately for my family, I also became the “food police”. Needless to say, having a mother and wife who watches what you eat like a hawk, was not very pleasant for my family. My intentions were good, but I had taken things to the extreme.

Now that I look back, I can understand why I acted that way. I was so excited to find a healthy eating habit that I could sustain. I was one those students who gained (lots of) weight during my first year at university. As a result, my early twenties turned into a mixture of different fad diets. You name it, I probably tried it – the cabbage soup diet, the lentil soup diet, shakes, pills, eating one meal a day etc. I cringe just thinking about it now! Somewhere along the way, I accepted the fact that the additional weight was now part of who I was.

When I finally changed my diet to eating whole foods, avoiding processed foods, eating less sugar, I felt so much better. I didn’t have to feel deprived or hungry. I finally lost the extra twenty pounds.

Since my clean eating journey began I’ve tried different approaches – Paleo, Primal, Whole 30, counting macros. For a long time I was so convinced Paleo was the only way to go, but then found myself justifying multiple brownies “because it’s Paleo”. I had some more bad habits to break. I have come to realize there is not necessarily a “one size fits all” approach. I ended up applying different concepts. From time to time I like to do a month of Whole 30 to re-set my body. This can be helpful after holidays or vacation when eating habits were different. When I bake, I use Paleo recipes. I enjoy baking and decided it may may as well be healthier without refined flour and sugar. Keeping track of macros can be a helpful “check and balance” to see how much you’re consuming and from which foods your nutrients are coming from.

The journey is an ongoing process, but one thing I have learned is that each of us needs to find what works best for our bodies. Something that may work now, may not work in the future depending on your circumstances. What’s important is that you fuel your body with nutritious whole foods. So, join our next nutrition challenge at the gym later this Spring, try some new foods, and enjoy a good meal with friends and family. Bon Appetit!