The Perfect Diet?

by HEAB on April 27, 2009

Hello my almond butter loving friends. If you're new to HEAB, you may like to subscribe to my RSS feed or receive my posts via email. Thanks for reading!

What is it you ask?  My answer is you have to figure that out for yourself.  Honestly, I don’t believe there is one perfect diet that is going to work for every single person.  Trust me, I’ve probably tried most of them.  Low carb?  Yeah, that one didn’t work so well.  If you tell me I can eat all the avocados & nuts I want, then I will.  Oops.  Oh, and that whole food combing, juicing thing?  That didn’t go over so well either.  My body literally swells when I eat fructose.  Jack Lalanne is not my friend, okay? Skinny Bitch? No thanks.  Been there, done that, and I was a complete bitch. I refuse to put  my friends and family through that ever again.

There are so many different theories out there, and I’ve read most of them, from Atkins to Gary Taubes (well, I tried reading Good Calories, Bad Calories. Did anyone make it through this book?  It was like reading a 640 page research paper).  Most people blame weight gain on excess calories.  Is a calorie really a calorie?  I’ve read all the info. on thermodynamics, blah blah blah, but honestly I think it’s all about food choices for each individual.   

Think about it – we’re all different.  CD can run 60 miles a week, stop running and not gain an ounce.  I can eat bowls and bowls of grains and maintain my weight, but add sugar to the mix, and my belly will double in size in no time.  Some people can eat 3000 calories a day and stay thin as a rail, while others struggle to lose weight on 1500 calories a day.  Our bodies are an amazing gift, but we were are all built differently, made up of various genes.  There are all kinds chemical reactions happening in each of us, and we all have different hormone levels.  I don’t understand the science behind everything, but I know that there is not one single diet that is going to work for everyone.  How could there be when we are so different?

Experiment.  Eat REAL foods.  Our bodies were made to recognize foods from the earth and trees, not the local factory.  A 300 calorie sweet potato full of vitamin A and potassium is completely different from a 300 calorie meal replacement bar with ingredients we can’t even pronounce. Don’t you think?  Eat the wholesome stuff and try not to get caught up in the numbers (I’m really working on this myself!).  

I was always overweight up until my early 20′s.  However, I was eating the same foods my friends ate growing up: pizza, ice-cream, soda, etc.  It’s not like I was hiding in the closet shoveling Twinkies in my mouth or anything, but for some reason I was much heavier than everyone else.  Things changed when I gave up sugar.  My body simply cannot metabolize sugar, whether it be plain white table sugar or the fructose sugar found in fruit.  That’s just the way I’m built.  As long as I stick to complex carbs, I’m fine.  For others, a diet low in carbs and higher in protein seems to do the trick.  Again, you just have to find what works best for you. Eat the foods that suit your body.  Eat the wholesome real stuff (like almond butter!) and quit counting.  Honor your body with what it truly needs, and don’t forget to listen.  Our bodies do talk to us, ya know. :)

A fun new breakfast this morning:

Savory Oats

Savory Green Oats

Wow, this was tasty!  I cooked 1/2 cup oat bran with 1 cup of water and then blended the oats with one cup of raw spinach in my Vita-Mix.  On top was 1 cooked egg with pepper and a big glob of Gena’s raw cashew pizza cheese.  A bit salty and totally Delicious!

Thanks to everyone for your sweet comments after my little mishap on Friday.  I’m feeling so much better.  Your love and support meant more to me than you know! Have a good week my friends, and remember to eat the real foods that your body wants!

{ 84 comments }

Gena April 27, 2009 at 8:17 am

Yay! So glad you gave the cheese a try. You can always omit the miso for less salt. For me, the star ingredient is that lemon: it gives the whole thing a tartness that I love!

Great, balanced breakfast — and such a sensible approach to eating. People always ask me to calculate calories, and I always respond that I don’t, and won’t: for me, being well nourished is about eating as much as the body needs and wants (no more, no less) and about eating a wide array of plant based, whole foods. Period.

Erica April 27, 2009 at 8:19 am

COULD not agree more! You have to find what works for you. Eat clean, eat clean! Real food is so much better than the fake stuff (although I think a certain amount of fake stuff can be ok). Consistency is important but treats are great every once in a while! Experiment- see what makes your body happy :)

Jenn (eating bender) April 27, 2009 at 8:20 am

I love what you said about diets – it’s so true! Every single person is different and it took me a while to realize that. I’m still trying to figure out what works best for me, but I’m working on it :)

Love the savory green oats! I’m going to have to look into Gena’s cashew pizza cheese. That sounds very delicious!

raspberryrunner April 27, 2009 at 8:24 am

Well put. Our bodies are all so different! There is so much conflicting nutritional advice out there…maybe that’s because there aren’t really many pieces of nutritional advice that will work for everyone, but I think that you are right on with the “eat real foods”…sweet potatoes are way better than a meal replacement bar!

redheadyellowdog April 27, 2009 at 8:24 am

I love savory oat bran! mm so good! Especially with some texas pete on top.

I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better! and I totally agree about the diets. When I’m eating whole natural foods I don’t have to worry about counting calories or gaining weight. It’s when I start eating processed stuff that the pounds start to pack on! I have no idea if there is a caloric difference but it doesn’t seem like there is.

coco April 27, 2009 at 8:24 am

I can’t agree more with all what you said in this post! We’re all different and there is no single diet that works for everyone. We just need to experiment and listen to our body and learn what’s best for us.
Have u read about that depending on our blood type, we’re born to digest differently food groups? It’s so interesting and as I’m type A, I’m more friendly to veggies and lean proteins. It can’t be more true.
that savory breakkie looks fantastic, I used to have savory oat too, oh.. i miss it now! :)

fitforfree April 27, 2009 at 8:25 am

Amen to that! One of the best lessons I’ve learned since I graduated college is that I can’t copy what anyone else does and expect the same results. My old roommate ate rice and vegetables for dinner every night . . . but if I leave out the protein component of a meal, I’m NEVER satisfied !!! Something so simple caused me years of fighting with my body, but now it’s thanking me for feeding it balanced meals :-)

Yasmin April 27, 2009 at 8:27 am

I am slowly coming to the realization that my body was not meant to be rail thin. I am naturally a medium-sized frame and try as I might I need to honor that. Thanks for helping me understand this concept.

runsarah April 27, 2009 at 8:29 am

Great post!! When I first started to try to lose weight, I ate crap like 100 calorie snack packs and Lean Cuisine, felt awful and hungry all the time. Now that I choose whole, mostly naturally foods — regardless of the cal intake — I feel energetic and satietied yet still maintain my weight. Every body is truly difference and unique too..the biochemistry of metabolism is so complex years of research still haven’t fully figured out what makes some people ‘naturally thin’ or ‘naturally obese’.

Courtney (The Hungry Yogini) April 27, 2009 at 8:32 am

It is so true!!! Everyone is so different. We all need different things to keep up going and feeling healthy. I always feel bad for people on low-fat diets…life without Almond Butter sounds so sad!!!

Have a great day Heather!

Anna April 27, 2009 at 8:40 am

can I get a big AMEN for this post?! Seriously, I cannot agree more. I love your balanced outlook.

I’m still figuring out what works for me, and as a relatively young blogger, it’s often easy to compare myself to older bloggers who have had the benefit of time to determine their “formula” (so to speak). I often forget to remind myself that I’m only 20 and it’s ok if I don’t have all the answers yet. I am a work in progress!

Lara (Thinspired) April 27, 2009 at 8:41 am

Your past few posts are EXTRA thought-provoking and interesting to read. I love all your thoughts here.
I am working on finding what is best for my body. Honestly, I’m not really sure what that is yet. Does it sound crazy that a balance of all the food groups is actually working for me? Not trying to be a cop-out here, but I’ve been playing around with carbs/no carbs, meat/no meat, dairy, etc., and I think a plant-based diet with a balance of all the rest really seems to work. But calories…oh, I don’t know, Heather! I am trying to stop counting but I swear I gain weight if I stop. I just can’t find a balance there.

justine April 27, 2009 at 8:43 am

Are you telling me to stop counting cals???? We may need to talk about this! haha. Hope your feeling better :) . We need to plan a lunch soon!! Call me.

~Justine

kaneil April 27, 2009 at 8:48 am

Wow, I just realized that you don’t eat fruit! I can’t believe I never noticed. My sister is the same way – she can eat anything but fruit and not gain weight. I can’t even imagine my life without it…it’s definitely my favorite food (apples especially).

I am constantly amazed by your geniusness. Yes that is a word. :)

I think I need to try savory oats soon. Every time I see them I think of grits and eggs. mmmmm

Kaneil, balanceisbest

brandi April 27, 2009 at 8:52 am

beautiful breakfast, and great post Heather!

It seems like everything should work for every person, but it doesn’t! We are all made a certain way for a reason, and we really do have to find out what works for us, keeps us happy and sane, and gives us the things we need.

polly April 27, 2009 at 8:53 am

Loooooove this post and YOU, my sweet peach H dog! XOXO

Yay for REAL food, yay for everybody and every BODY being different, and HAAY HOOO (cheering like Michael Scott) for calories shmalories!!

You are the sweetest thing ever. Will be making more of “those little balls” today! Got some agave nectar and just need to make MORE almond butter……… ;)

XOXO
P

lora April 27, 2009 at 8:56 am

i think you are totally right..right now I am experimenting with “no meat” and very little dairy because I find red meat and dairy upset my stomach–they dont make me gain weight, but I feel better without the stuff. So I really think our bodies know what they want and what they like and go out and get it—kinda like women—haha. My body also does better with cardio (running, swimming and biking) as opposed to pilates…although I am trying to get into yoga—its just hard for me b/c I am a very active person and can never clear my head and relax in poses because I THINK too much–I enjoy sweating out frustration in order to relax instead…maybe thats something my body also prefers? who knows…love those oats! have a great monday!

Holly April 27, 2009 at 9:03 am

Yes! I couldn’t agree more. I used to swear by all of those 100 calorie packs and weight watcher brand foods. While I don’t think those foods are bad (and I still have them sometimes!), for me it’s more satisfying and ENJOYABLE to eat the “real” stuff. Sure, I go through nut butters like it ain’t nobody’s business, but my belly is nice and full. :-)

Erin April 27, 2009 at 9:03 am

I loved this post. I could not agree more, but I still seem to have trouble truly remembering that we all need different things. For a while, I seemed to be doing well with figuring out what my body needs, but I’ve gotten out of whack. I’m pretty sure it happened when I visited my family and got into my head that I should be eating their version of “healthy.” It is healthy, but maybe not for me. I do well with carbs and fats, and not counting calories. I feel like I’m having a lot of trouble getting back to it and figuring out what works. Thanks for the lovely reminder tho. We are all different and that’s okay!

Janie April 27, 2009 at 9:04 am

What a great post! You are totally right, now I just need to find what works for my body. I’m still working on figuring this out… :P

Pearl April 27, 2009 at 9:05 am

this was SO inspirational :) thank you!

Beadie April 27, 2009 at 9:21 am

Awesome post, Heather! I am still working to find out the best balance of nutrition for me and I feel inspired that if I keep listening to my body, I will figure out what works for me.

elise April 27, 2009 at 9:23 am

yes yes yes…real food, whole ingredients with pronounceable names are what my body loves. i have found with exercise i can eat almost anything if its a REAL food without gaining weight. i wish the FDA (and whatever other food regulation boards) demanded our food were less processed crap, because it seriously makes SUCH a difference. while on vacation in europe (without any exercise) i can eat and eat and not gain weight either, and all signs point to natural food.

Diana (Soap & Chocolate) April 27, 2009 at 9:25 am

Amen amen amen. It takes so much personal experimentation, and even though I *think* I’ve found the right way of eating for me, that doesn’t mean I don’t have bad days when I think I should be more vigilant or count every calorie to make sure I’m not going to go overboard. Cheers to your healthy lifestyle! And so sorry to hear of your dehydration scare – that can’t have been fun. Lesson learned, eh?

lilveggiepatch April 27, 2009 at 9:26 am

I love this post! I’ve been trying to figure out what my ideal “diet” (as in lifestyle and not weight-loss plan) and I’ve gotten a better idea of it in the last week or so. Thanks for all your insights!

Briana in Tucson April 27, 2009 at 9:27 am

I could not agree more!

For years I was always trying to eat whole grains and whole wheat because everyone said it was so “healthy.” But I just felt awful all of the time. Then I found out that I have Celiac’s disease and everything with gluten was damaging my body from the inside out! Now I take everything the “experts” say with a grain of salt. It took the Celiac’s to make me realize that I’m the expert on my own body and our bodies really do speak to us if we just listen. :)

Now my diet consists of tons of raw and roasted veggies, chicken, salmon, lean red meat, eggs, olive oil, nuts, and the occasional servings of legumes, yogurt, cottage cheese, and fruit. And I’ve never felt better!

You really hit the nail on the head, Heather!

Amy April 27, 2009 at 9:29 am

I totally agree, Heather! In fact I was just reflecting today that after cutting out gluten and dairy for just 2 weeks I’m already feeling lighter. Probably because my stomach feels better (so I don’t overeate as much) and I’m focusing on even more whole foods than in the past.

Kiersten April 27, 2009 at 9:31 am

Once again, another inspiring post! I agree with you 100% The best and healthiest way to live is by eating REAL foods. I hear so many people say they are going to the ______ diet to lose weight, and they end up eating nothing but processed foods that are labeled “low-fat.” That’s not real food!

I agree that we all need to figure out what’s best for our bodies. It took me years of experimenting to finally understand that my body thrives on real foods and healthy eating. Since discovering this, I haven’t felt better.

amy (veganissexy) April 27, 2009 at 9:31 am

You are so right, and you just saved us all hundreds of dollars worth of crappy diet books! Big hugs for laying it out like it really is. I totally agree that it’s so easy to look at what other people are eating and get so frustrated because your body just doesn’t process the same foods. I puff up like crazy with any carbs…even if they are whole wheat, oatmeal, etc….but I can eat like 10 servings of fruit a day without any problems. Ugh. I so appreciate your words and perspective Heather. This is especially tough for women since we are so apt to compare ourselves to everyone else. It helps to be reminded….especially this close to summer & bathing suit season :) Thanks doll!

solaisphoto April 27, 2009 at 9:43 am

“A 300 calorie sweet potato full of vitamin A and potassium is completely different from a 300 calorie meal replacement bar with ingredients we can’t even pronounce.”

AMEN! I have been trying to convince people of this for years. It seems my co-workers and friends are obsessed with shakes, drinks, bars, and fads. Me? I’d much rather have a bowl of yogurt with blueberries (210 calories), or an apple and some real cheese (230 calories), or a baked potato topped with turkey chili (370 calories), than a 3″ by 1/4″ meal replacement bar full of chemicals or a can of watery, artificially flavored liquid.

But people want the quick fix, rather than have to think about what they eat. It’s really sad.

Monica April 27, 2009 at 9:48 am

thanks for another great post! it’s so easy to get caught up in all the hype and new diets that you forget that the only thing that really works is eating real, whole food. I’m making an effort to eat as clean as possible because that’s when i feel the best!

I’m so glad you are feeling better after friday! have a great week :)

Ashley April 27, 2009 at 9:50 am

Always so wise Heather! You make very good points.

I notice that when I read peoples blogs, they often eat very different things from me, and that’s ok (in fact, its fabulous, I love seeing so many diverse tastes and approaches to food!) We all have different things that ‘work’ for us. The one characteristic that I think carries across any ‘good’ diet is eating simple, whole food. No processed junk (or as little as possible… you need your creamer, I need my chocolate!) and lots of vegetables! I’m still trying to fine tune my diet, and work out what really ‘works’ for me but I’m enjoying the process. It’s a journey, not just a destination!

I’m glad you are feeling better Heather! And those green oats – sublime! I love green food oh so much :-)

Leanne April 27, 2009 at 10:03 am

Nice post, Heather! I agree with you 100% and try not to worry about numbers as long as I’m eating wholesome food. I think when you start eating over-processed chemicals, that’s when your body has a hard time with satiety signals.

Maria April 27, 2009 at 10:18 am

I definitely agree about the REAL foods. It has done wonders for many people that I know. You do need to experiment with how many complex carbs and how much protein your body needs to function properly and we all need to pay special attention to ensure that we get enough veggies and fruits. Thanks for blogging about this, as there are still lots of people that are confused about which “diets” work best. That is why I started reading Tosca Reno’s Eat-Clean Diet… which is NOT a diet, but simply moving away from processed foods and adopting a REAL food diet!

Danielle April 27, 2009 at 10:31 am

Oh Heather, my dear, you speak the truth! This was one of my favorite posts yet, you’re such a talented writer, and I suppose, thinker, as well :) . Take care!

Susan April 27, 2009 at 10:39 am

Amen sistah!! I’ve only counted calories 2 days out of the last 10. I’m completely terrified about if I’m eating right, but I keep telling myself it’s not rocket science. As long as I’m eating good, whole foods (and lots of green stuff) then I probably won’t put 5 lbs on overnight. Like you, my extra weight came from eating all the foods that people around me were eating. Which, as a university student meant lots of alcohol, pizza, and other crappy processed stuff. As soon as I eliminated that, the pounds flew off. I now know that I can’t eat like the people around me, but I also feel a lot better about what I’m putting in my body now :)

Rambling aside, I NEED to try a fried egg on my oats!!!

Sarah April 27, 2009 at 10:40 am

Criminy, you mean I can’t just eat cabbage soup for 2 weeks straight, a steak on Wednesdays, bananas and milk on Thursdays and oranges and tomatoes on Fridays? Because that sounded really good to me…

I hope you are feeling back to your old vibrant self today!

Julz April 27, 2009 at 10:48 am

You are such a refreshing spirit for this here Julz. I cannot even TELL you. REALLY, I adore reading your words, as they are so so kind and settling. TRUE BEYOND WHAT THE WORDS SAY, too, because they come from no where but your open heart and WISE mind :) THANK YOU, SWEET HEBS! :D

-ps- what are you planning to do with YO TEFF?! ;)

burpexcuzme April 27, 2009 at 10:48 am

Heather, I totally agree 100% to what you’re saying! Each and every one of us are unique with individual bodies, and not all diets work the same for every body, same as not all bodies are meant to be skinny or fat or the same porportioned. The first step is to embrace our own individual body for the way it’s supposed to be, and stick to whole REAL foods that haven’t been manipulated and corrupted by human technology and mechanisms. I think the day “diet” products hit the stores, the weight of Americans skyrocketed!

Lauren April 27, 2009 at 11:33 am

I love this post, Heather. You hit the nail on the head with your message about every body being different, and the importance of listening that what our bodies are telling us.

orangepop April 27, 2009 at 11:42 am

Glad you’re feeling better. I agree, some people can thrive as vegetarians, but some people get tired & feel weak, so I believe it. Isn’t it beautiful that everyone is so different?!

Shelby April 27, 2009 at 12:25 pm

I love this post!

Fructose is just in fruit right? I think that might be what is causing my belly to bloat. It’s only in the space between my ribs though, not lower. I can’t find out what the problem is…any advice?

ttfn300 April 27, 2009 at 12:44 pm

breakfast looks amazing!!! really great post (but aren’t they all?)

the dainty pig April 27, 2009 at 1:08 pm

So true!! I am very similar to you: I puff up instantly if I eat fruit. And it really does happen quickly! So sad, because I love fruit. BUT, I can eat bowls and bowls of brown rice and get tinier! We are all so different, and it is nice to be reminded to just listen to our OWN bodies, and not just follow others, or fad diets. I have tried many “diets” too–low carb, lots of fresh fruits, high protein, you name it–and the only one that seems good for me is LOTS of whole grainy, complex carbs, and minimal fruit!

Have a wonderful wonderful day!!

eatlivelovedream April 27, 2009 at 1:15 pm

I couldn’t agree more! We are all so different! I can’t do diets! I just want everything I’m not supposed to have. I do everything in moderation. That might not work for everyone but it’s what works for me. It’s actually pretty cool that we are all so different. The world would be so boring if we were all the same.

Emily April 27, 2009 at 1:41 pm

Heather,

I cannot agree more! Weight loss has become an “industry”. Most people think healthy food= 100 calorie packs, lean cuisines, and diet soda. Although I’ve never been overweight I started out eating this processed crap honestly believing I was being a health nut by avoiding real sugar, real bread, and real fat.

Someone needs to stop the diet industry before it does any more damage!

With Love,

Emily

Maggie April 27, 2009 at 1:58 pm

This is such a good post! I’m starting to think that fruit might have something to do with my bloating because I haven’t been eating dairy and I’m still feeling it. I accidentally didn’t have fruit one day last week (kind of crazy for me) and I woke up the next day feeling wonderful. I tried to not have fruit the next day but I just crave it so much.

Anyway, back to the point of the post – it’s just so true. We each need to figure out what our body needs to feel its best. I’m interested in reading that book coco mentioned (the blood type one) but I actually don’t know what blood type I am, so I’d have to get that checked. By the way – I couldn’t get through Good Calories, Bad Calories either. Have you read Rethinking Thin by Gina Kolata? I read that around the same time that I tried to read GC, BC and it was much better.

happy monday :)

Meghann April 27, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Loved this post!! I have been trying to eat more real foods, but with a pantry chalk ful of processed stuff its hard to find the balance. :(

Heather (be well & take care) April 27, 2009 at 2:49 pm

Wonderful post (as always), Heather. This one goes hand-in-hand for me personally with your “calories, schamalories!” post. The first time I’ve ever felt at peace with the way I eat is when I stopped

Like yours, my body does not like sugar, yet it’s so hard for me to quit. I’ve given up sugar and still use agave, maple syrup, and lots of fruit (dried & not) but it’s tough. But still, finding the balance of what fulfills & nourishes you is so critical to truly loving food. I’ve dealt with disordered eating my entire life and I’m still struggling, but knowing that I can indulge in wholesome treats that feel like a treat (like nut butters!) and not be putting junk into my mouth/body is awesome.

Have I said awesome/wonderful/amazing enough in this comment? Geez.

Sweetie Pie April 27, 2009 at 3:00 pm

What a great post! I absolutely agree that everybody is different, and I wish everyone luck (myself included) in finding their own healthy balance. Thanks for the reminder! There’s always some good food and some good food for thought over here on your site!

abi April 27, 2009 at 3:02 pm

hey heather,
I’ve never posted before but I love reading your blog. Just had to say.. your last few posts have been absolutely amazing! thanks for sharing all your thoughts with the blog world!

carolinebee April 27, 2009 at 3:05 pm

awesome info i really agree with ya..my friend did skinny bitch and was ahem, ONLY One of those adjectives ;D I’m so sorry about your mishap and SO glad you’re okay

Kath April 27, 2009 at 3:18 pm

What a wonderful post :) So true!

finkleberry April 27, 2009 at 3:22 pm

This is such a great post. It really spoke to me today especially because lately I have been feeling like I’m not eating the right things, or somethings wrong with me. But It is TRUE everyone is different. So thank you. I have got to get around to trying spinach oats. They look so wonderful. I don’t know about the egg thought ( i have an egg phobia…) ahha. Great post again!
xo, Hannah Jane

Gina April 27, 2009 at 3:24 pm

I read that book, and I LOVED it!!! I am getting my master’s in nutrition so I am very much used to reading books like that one. I really couldn’t put it down and it actually made me think a lot differently about food. I do however still believe, for the most part, that a calorie is a calorie, but there are definitely some exceptions.

ksgoodeats April 27, 2009 at 4:09 pm

That breakfast looks incredibly delicious!! I love what you said about getting diets to work for you. I wish that people who attempt every fad diet under the sun for a week would come to that realization as well. I think the problem with some people is that they aren’t as in tune with their bodies as others are. I notice a big difference when I eat sugar (no bueno in my system as well) but a few years ago when I wasn’t in tune, I would have so many hypoglycemic episodes because my body would go up and down in terms of blood sugar.

bibixs April 27, 2009 at 4:32 pm

I couldn’t agree more heather!
I started to lose weight on low carb, but then i started to run real hard and low carb didn’t feel good anymore… so i upped my carbs and i think im finding balance. I’d still try to lose 5 pounds, but it’s okay, it will happen when it happens.

Briana April 27, 2009 at 4:56 pm

I believe you 100%. I think that’s why it’s so hard to eat healthy and well sometimes. You look at someone, maybe a friend or family member, and see what their eating and say “They’re eating that and their skinny so I can eat that too.” I think that may be the case sometimes, but often times not like you mentioned. Thanks for the insight!

nicolegodiva April 27, 2009 at 5:31 pm

Nice post! I definetely agree that we all need to find what works for us, but wouldn’t it be nice if there was a perfect diet. The raw food world often totes their diet as perfect, but honestly it made me sick… now I can only promote HIGH raw in my diet. Keep up the awesome posting!!

Emily April 27, 2009 at 5:46 pm

I’m with you. After studying a lot of nutrition and still seeing how different everyone is, I really think individualizing “diets” is necessary.

Glad you are feeling much better! :-)

CaSaundra April 27, 2009 at 6:09 pm

Very well said! Your post really hit home for me because it’s so hard not to compare yourself to others and what they are eating–but like you said everyone metabolizes food differently and we just need to be in tune to OUR bodies only. Your blog brightens my day! Take care!! XxX

RuntoFinish April 27, 2009 at 6:15 pm

fantastic post! you are so right that it takes a little experimenting to figure out what your body needs to feel good and run well! Literally run that is for me, but function well for most!

Chrissy April 27, 2009 at 6:56 pm

I 100% agree. I have dieted for the last 10 years and have only found myself bigger and bigger.
I finally have given up dieting. I have tried weight watchers, Herbal Magic, Lean Cuisine, South Beach, Atkins, you name it, I’ve tried it. None have worked for me, not saying they don’t work!
The only thing that has worked for me, is a book called Health at Every Size, because now it’s not about looking great in my skinny jeans, it’s about my health.
The main point of this book is to help you love yourself, love the skin you’re in and live healthier .
You have to have trust in your body and quit abusing it with every different kind of diet you can think of.
Give this book a chance, after all, you’ve given all these other diets a chance it’s time you took charge of yourself and made a healthy decision.

Sally April 27, 2009 at 7:01 pm

I haven’t really tried to lose weight, but I find my body at best when I eat the most minimally processed foods like lots of fruits and veggies, nuts, and beans. Plus, I like those foods too, so it’s all good :) The cashew cheese you made looks and sounds delish!

Cecilia April 27, 2009 at 7:24 pm

I LOVE you Heather, period!!! Your blog is one of the BEST EVER!! I’m still trying to work out what is best for me and my body – but right now, a mostly vegan diet suits me really well :D

Emily April 27, 2009 at 9:19 pm

I eat a lot of crap, but I always love a shout out to real foods! thanks for this post.

http://eatingchalk.wordpress.com

Alisa - Frugal Foodie April 27, 2009 at 9:28 pm

So true! My husband and I were just discussing this the other day … how differently we both feel when we eat the same way. I think that is the biggest challenge for eating MY best meal is being married. It is so hard to truly please us both when it comes to how food makes us feel.

janetha April 27, 2009 at 10:38 pm

i really enjoyed this post, great insight. also, the bfast looked super delicious!

Jessica (jesslikesithot) April 28, 2009 at 12:46 am

Everything you mentioned in this post is so, sooo very true!!! You are full of wisdom miss Heather!!

That new oats breakfast looks vurrrry fun, I love the salty addition!

Hangry Pants April 28, 2009 at 6:33 am

I completely agree!!!! It is so important to listen to yourself and think about what you want and should eat. No two people are the same, so why would eating the same “safe list” of foods work for anyone?!!??

lissa10279 April 28, 2009 at 6:52 am

Love this post, Heather. What works for one person is not necessarily going to work for another. I think ultimately people just want a quick fix, so if one person says “low-carb” worked for them, someone else tries it. But it fails, because we’re all created differently. I know fake sugars hurt my stomach badly, for example.

meloncauliflower April 28, 2009 at 8:58 am

i just started reading skinny bitch, mostly because my mom bought it for my sister a while back and i was curious. most of it is retarded and needs to be taken with a grain of salt. the biggest impact it’s had on me is the accounts of slaughterhouses and lack of research behind fda-approved foods. very scary. i doubt they made that stuff up.

Geekay April 28, 2009 at 9:44 am

We’re much more alike than we are different. When we eat whole, natural unprocessed foods almost all of us will be healthier. I believe there is an optimal human diet (similar to a hunter-gatherer or pre-agricultural diet). Humans do vary in their metabolisms, and there will always be those at the end of the bell curve, but there is a starting point.

If you think we’re that different, I defy you to find anyone who will actually do better over the long run with the “meal replacement bar” than a sweet potato.

Michelle Hisae April 28, 2009 at 10:59 am

You are so spot on. There are certain foods that agree with us and certain foods that don’t. I read all about how dairy doesn’t do good things for all the bloggers out there, and I started to think I should give it up. But I don’t have an issue with it, so why am I thinking that way? Silly me. I just need to listen, listen, listen to my gut and body. We all know what’s best for us!

Good luck in your journey deciding which of those dairy is for you. :)

Trish (girlatgym) April 28, 2009 at 11:58 am

There are so many different ways of eating. It can be so confusing because in each case the argument for the diet is so convincing. How do we figure out what to eat when one person tells us not to touch fruit and then another says we should be eating a lot of it. Same thing with so many different foods. I think we all need to figure out what works best for us personally. I thin if we keep it “real” then we are already on track. It’s just then realizing what suits us. We can’t rely on another person deciding what will work – because that just never works!

Clare (Clare's Two Steps Forward April 28, 2009 at 12:35 pm

I am the exact same way with fruit. Plus it doesn’t seem to hold me over like it does for other people. Some people can eat an apple and be full from the water and fiber content, but an apple does absolutely nothing to satiate me! I’ll eat one piece of fruit in the morning, and again if I’m craving something specific. I can’t eat it all day as snack food. I get hungry and bloated.

Thanks for this post! It’s a message that takes a while to sink in for me.

Melissa S. April 28, 2009 at 1:17 pm

very well put heather! i think it’s great that you listen to your body and too believe that everyone is different in the way their body metabolizes calories and works with food! we do what we can to keep ourselves healthy and energized!

Andrea April 28, 2009 at 1:43 pm

What another great, insightful post! It’s important to not get caught up in the fad diets (even healthy fads!) and just go back to basics – listen to what your body wants! So simple, yet so easy to overlook!

glidingcalm April 28, 2009 at 4:39 pm

You so smaaaht. (I grew up in Boston! :) )

Thanks for this….and thanks for once again speaking from the haaaaaaht. (Boston, it’s true! Okay, well Cambridge, MA…but same thing basiiiiically.)

Sweet and Fit April 28, 2009 at 4:40 pm

wow! this is such an amazing post – I truly NEEDED to read this because I have been trying to find out what i’m “doing wrong”, I think I really need to just eat real foods and experiment – thanks heather!

Samantha April 28, 2009 at 5:57 pm

This is a great post for ANYONE! It’s so frustrating, especially for those of us who think we’re doing the right things, to not see or feel change. But experimentation, and GIVING IT TIME TO WORK is a good thing! (those caps are shouting at ME! ha ha!) Eating whole and raw is wonderful, and finding out what triggers icky responses in our bodies is an important key in looking and feeling our best!

Tina April 29, 2009 at 1:53 am

I completely agree. The most important thing in any diet is to eat REAL food, not chemically enhanced products that have an ingredient list longer than a childs wishlist to Sanda Claus. I realized this a long time ago and am still trying to figure out what works best for me. I have read a lot of books about how to eat healthy, not neccessarily specific diet books but books generally about the food we eat and what is in them. This has taught me to be more aware of the ingredients in the food I eat. I always read labels and avoid anything that contains ingredients I cannot pronounce. I try to buy organic as often and much as possible and I eat REAL food. Wholesome food. Lots of greens, grains, fruits, whole grains/wheat and pure stuff instead of packaged and chemically enhanced stuff. What seems to be working for me is eating a vegan diet, this is something I have been doing for a couple of years now. I’ve had my slip-ups but generally I stick to a vegan diet and allow myself treats almost every day, small healthy treats most of the time but SOMETHING every day. This helps me because it makes me feel like I’m not depriving myself of the good stuff. As soon as I deny myself a food it’s all I’m going to think about and eventually I’ll binge and eat an outrageous amount of that “forbidden” food and other things on top of that. As long as I allow myself a good treat (vegan ice cream, carob rice crackers, rice cracker with pb and cinnamon etc.) in moderate amounts I do ok and my weight isn’t affected! It’s a constant struggle and something I am still learning how to do but as I said, I completely agree with you – what works for me is NOT going to work for someone else. And as with any diet it’s not going to work for everyone so instead of wasting money and time reading about ridiculous diets like Atkins, the most important thing is to just wipe your slate clean and listen to your own body, try things and see what happens and what works for you. (Sorry about the long comment!)

Sarena April 29, 2009 at 3:09 pm

I could not agree with you more on this! I just had this conversation with someone today. Great post!

Meggie May 11, 2009 at 8:14 am

This was very inspirational, and I couldn’t agree more!

I’ve been struggling with my weight lately, and I realized that when I TRY to lose weight I just end up gaining it. If I focus on health, and what will make my body feel good, even if I don’t lose weight, I’ll still FEEL good.

And a 300 calorie sweet potato is SO much more filling than a dinky meal replacement bar. I could eat five of those and still be hungry, but one (maybe two! :D ) sweet potato is so satisfying.

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