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Conscious Eating

I hear a lot that nutrition is confusing. I agree. There are lots of diets out there. Whole foods plant-based, vegan, keto, paleo, vegetarian (and all the varieties within that category) just to name a few. A lot of experts tout each one, with lots of research resulting in their own books and various documentaries, which all have merit. You’ve got to be really careful when it comes to digesting this information and applying it to human lives. I’d hope, and I think, most everyone has good intentions in wanting to make people healthier. But each of these diets, where something is left out, to me seems a bit extreme and unsustainable.  

Let me expand on this. For most of 2023, after watching several documentaries and devouring the research behind a whole foods plant-based lifestyle, my family and I embarked on a “vegan experiment” as I like to call it. I love knowledge, so whenever I learn something new, I incorporate it into our lives for a set period of time, with my test subjects of course being myself and family. If I find value, it’ll become part of our holistic lifestyle; if not, I scratch it. We held out for about eight months until I decided that the vegan lifestyle simply didn’t work for us. It was unsustainable for our active lifestyle. We just weren’t getting enough calories, or protein, with the elimination of animal products. I found us turning to unnecessary amounts of simple carbohydrates to fill the gap. From the social aspect in our community, it was also extremely difficult.

If it works for you and you feel really good eating that exclusive, great. I don’t want to discourage you from something that works for you.  I do think consulting your doctor or a nutritionist to monitor lab values is a good idea and a great opportunity to engage in conversation regarding your overall health, since diet is only one piece of your lifestyle.

I am confident that a person living an active lifestyle making movement, sleep and good nutrition priorities, while eating the correct portion of meat, seafood, eggs and dairy products, will be healthy and happy. I know this because Nate and I are the proof. Our labs, before my “vegan experiment” were that of what the experts consider “vegan level” for cholesterol and other labs values.

So instead of choosing one specific diet, I think the better mindset would be to choose conscious eating. What we include rather than what we leave out. Being mindful of where your food actually comes from; where and how the animals are raised and where and how the produce was grown before making it to your table. Maybe a better question of “meat or no meat” would be small, locally farmed meat over factory farmed meat. Choosing a small farm where animals are raised humanely and allowed a natural diet of pasture grazing, which produces far superior meat than the chemical and antibiotic laden meat of factory farms. Standing up and just saying no to factory farmed meat, eggs and dairy would be a good start in helping our small American farmers and the health of Americans across the country. Conscious eating is how our ancestors did it for generations. They traded or bartered to get the goods they didn’t produce themselves, and they often lived a much richer life.

Check out the website to find farms around you.

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