Thursday, February 20, 2014

Soo Many Types...

My first thought this morning was 'It is almost Friday!' <insert happy dance here> My second thought was about food, which most of my daily thoughts are about. I love food. I love to eat and I love the way my body feels after a week of solid clean eating. Nothing feels better than a digestive system that is working properly, clear vibrant skin, strong full-bellied muscles, and ample energy to get through the day. Growing up and studying nutrition, the term vegetarian and vegan were commonly used when discussing types of diets. In today's world, however, there are several types of diets that are followed, some you may have heard of and some that seem like a foreign language. If you have ever heard of Crossfit than you sure as heck have heard about the Paleo diet. If you have ever looked around a food co-op, than you most definitely have seen Raw foods advertised. But what do all these mean? That is where I come in! My goal is to break these diets down and give you examples of the types of foods you might eat when following a particular plan. Let me begin with how I eat!

Clean Eating- What is clean eating? It is a lifestyle centered around eating unprocessed foods, fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats and whole grains. Foods include ALL fresh fruits and veggies, organic lean meat (beef, turkey, chicken, fish), nuts and seeds in addition to natural nut butters. Whole grains including brown and wild rice, quinoa, farro in addition to whole grain breads, oats and pastas. Do not forget eggs, organic greek yogurt, or almond/rice milk. Most clean eaters avoid fast food, fried food, processed foods, dried fruits, canned vegetables, white bread and rice, in addition to other things.

Paleo- The Paleolithic diet, also known as the 'Caveman' diet, has been around for thousand of years but has increased in popularity over the last couple years, especially among Crossfit athletes. The principal behind the Paleo diet is that you eat foods in their most natural state, such as meat, eggs, vegetables, berries, fruits, nuts, seeds and healthy fats (like coconut oil). An individual following this diet avoids eating dairy, legumes, all grains, and processed foods. This is because they are not in the most natural state, like a hunter/gatherer could obtain in the wild. This diet also promotes eating all organic foods, grass-fed beef, free-range poultry and eggs and eating ample amounts of healthy fats.

Vegetarian- Vegetarian diets have been followed by many for many years. A (strict) vegetarian diet follows a meal plan that eliminates all types of meats including pork, turkey, chicken, beef, fish, and wild game. This type of diet still incorporates eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt or any other animal byproduct. This type of diet also incorporates a lot of grains, tofu products, nuts, seeds and legumes.  

Vegan- Friends explain to me that the vegan diet is about the lifestyle, not just the diet. True vegans abstain from using or consuming any animal products or byproducts. They do not wear any type of product (lotion, hair dye, clothing) made from animals (leather, fur) or that has been tested on animals. A vegan diet consists of fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds, soy-based products and fermented foods.

Raw Foods- A raw foods diet contains foods that are 100% raw, so primarily fruits and vegetables. This also includes foods that are not heated about 118 degrees. Raw food diets can follow hand in hand with vegan diets but some individuals following a raw food plan still consume raw, unpasteurized organic milk, organic eggs, and raw meat.

It is best to find what is suitable for you, your lifestyle, and your goals. When it comes to nutrition, there is no "cookie cutter" plan, it is about you as an individual. What works for some may not work for you.

Take care of you!


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