There is no shortage of nutritional advice.
Some of it is beneficial advice. Some of it is harmful advice. Frankly, it can be difficult to tell the difference.
On top of confusion about nutritional approaches (should I restrict fat or carbs?), there are considerations about values (is it “bad” to eat something with eyeballs?)
This article is a discussion on my personal approach to nutrition. I’m not recommending you follow it. I’m simply sharing the philosophy that guides me.
when possible, eat local
I do my absolute best to consume foods that are – or at least can be – grown within 200 miles of where I live.
My only significant and regularly exceptions to this rule are coconut and cacao.
I live in Montana, which has a robust summer and fall growing season and a harsh winter/spring. This means that I eat a wide variety of produce in the summer and early fall. It also means that I don’t eat fruits or vegetables for almost 6 months of the year.
During the late fall, winter, and early spring months, my dietary strategy revolves around animal fats and proteins. During an eating window of 4-6 hours most days, I enjoy bone broths, a variety of meats and eggs, and organ meats.
During the summer and early fall months, I eat the wide variety of produce and fresh products available at our local farmers market: duck eggs, carrots, tomatoes of all colors, lettuces of all kinds.
I believe the human diet should vary over the course of the year, rather than the week, because I believe this reflects the natural rhythm of the seasons.
If you live in the Southeast or California, you will have access to produce in the winter months (hello citrus!) that would never survive the few feet of snow we have on the ground.
how to eat
Beyond that, I no longer count calories, carbs or grams of fat except for 2-3 days every 6-8 weeks, and this is only to find out what I’m eating, rather than to manipulate it.
I let my body guide me.
Though I’m not perfect about these practices, I make a point of serving myself and sitting at a table to eat. I eat slowly. And I always eat without the distraction of a tv, computer or phone. This helps me to listen and respond to my body’s signals around what and how much I need.
When we follow these principles, we’ll each find our own way. Some of us will tolerate more carbs than others. Some of us will gravitate towards a ketogenic diet. Some of us will focus on plant sources and others on animal sources of nutrients.
At the end of the day, if you eat real food, foods that have not been packaged or processed or repurposed in head-scratching ways, your body will have the chance to find it’s own perfect balance. Don’t overcomplicate it. Just chew!