The SFD: I’ve led workshops on it and work closely with my clients in helping them stick to it. But, maybe you don’t know what I’m talking about. You’ve been too busy trying to sort out the pros and cons of the Keto Diet, South Beach diet, Atkins, grapefruit, cookie, high protein, blood type, bad carb / good carb, green leafy, coconuts and kettlebells (#thatsreal) diets. Well, let me introduce you to (what I call) the Snowflake Diet.
In 1956, nutrition pioneer and PhD, Roger Williams, published “Biochemical Individuality, the Basis for the Genetotrophic Concept.” In his book, he presented research supporting his thesis that each of us has a unique anatomy, metabolism, composition of bodily fluids and cell structure - all of which permeate and influence one’s individual health. “Each person,” Williams wrote, “has genetically determined and highly individualistic nutrition requirements.”
In pre-school, my teacher, Mrs. Duncan, taught us that every single snowflake is different from all the other snowflakes. (Stay with me Floridians). As an addendum, she went on to say that we were like snowflakes, all slightly different in our own unique way/s. Too young to grasp the higher metaphor, I applied this to mealtime. My parents and brothers loved meat, I hated it. I was harangued each night to finish my teenie portion of meat before I could leave the table. It was tough; my parents were unyielding, and so was I. But now, seeing myself as a unique snowflake, with my own likes and dislikes (supported by Mrs. Duncan’s snowflake science), this nightly meat stand-off could be resolved. After all, I was now allowed to be different, I was the snowflake that didn’t like meat, it wasn’t personal, it was science. I brought this theory home. My mother filed my petition under, “we’ll see.” I ate meat until I moved out. (P.S., I’ve been a whole-hog vegetarian ever since.)
In my practice, I help clients de-code what dietary choices work best for their unique metabolisms, lifestyle, short and longer term health goals. Food is, after all, medicine, and with more and more marketing pressure and limelight on the diet du jour, we’ve got to remember that one woman’s medicine can be another woman’s poison. Here are a few things to consider when you’re evaluating whether a food, food group or diet are right for you and your unique, nutritional needs.
Tips to Determining your Unique, Bio-Individual Wellness Food Plan
1) Trust your intuition. If you don’t feel good about eating X, Y or Z, then don’t. There are at minimum, 1000 more ways to arrive at your, unique optimal health. That’s the wonderful thing about eating well.
2) Take your energetic temperature. Energy is the first place to start when tailoring your SFD. Your energy is a telltale which lets you know either you’re doing pretty well or could use some more work on finding the right foods and food combinations that will keep you energized throughout the day.
3) What is your ancestry? If you are Northern European, chances are good (but not 100%) that you will tolerate moderate amounts of dairy. Why? Because it’s existed in your ancestral diet for centuries. If you’re ancestry is Sub-Saharan African for example, where diets consisted of beans, grains, animal proteins, sweet potatoes and green veggies (and no dairy), it’s a good guess dairy isn’t going to be a superfood. Cases in point, a full one-third of African Americans are lactose intolerant.
4) Experiment with foods (adding or subtracting) at a pace you can measure and evaluate. If you’re working on a new and improved you, or focused on a specific health goal, take the time to determine what’s working and why before moving on. Your health goals will by supported by meeting your unique nutritional requirements.
If you’re jumping from one dietary trend to another, you’ll be led by the marketing industry and not by the information only your body can (and wants to) provide you. We are barraged by constant fad marketing from the food industry. Research in food and nutrition science is light years behind. So, instead of bending to the next diet trend or waiting for a double-blind conclusive study on the benefits of broccoli, do yourself a favor, get started on designing your own, high performance, optimal wellness snowflake diet. Understanding that your body performs differently from anyone else’s is liberating. It’s also a challenge I hope you’ll embrace with these tips, your unique snowflake style and whole-hog enthusiasm.
Get a jump start on uncovering your best food plan: e-mail me for a complimentary, 30 minute consultation!