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What's up Doc?

We have a bunny in our backyard, feasting on the new plants my husband, Sean, is so earnestly growing out back. He is a cute little fellow we are calling “Elmer”, as in the “wabbit-hunting” Mr. Fudd. It seemed appropriate.

He likes the pea pods and the Brussel sprouts and I wondered what else he liked, so of course, I looked it up. Wild (?) rabbits like green stuff, such as grasses, clover, weeds (good news), plants and even wildflowers. In the winter, they will also feast on twigs, bark, buds and pine needles, if necessary.

Surprisingly, not all veggies are bunny-friendly. Some types of plants create a lot of bloating and this can be deadly for rabbits, so keep them away from radishes, garlic or broccoli. And did you know that when it comes to carrots and lettuce, rabbits are not a fan, contrary to how they are depicted in books and movies. Rabbits don’t eat root vegetables and lettuces are not good for them. In fact, iceberg lettuce is toxic!

Which brings me around to the topic for this week – bio-individuality. What does this mean when it comes to optimizing your diet? Well, it is about finding the right fuel for you, based on some experimentation and research. Not all of us are omnivores, or vegetarian or vegan. That is why there are so many different types of diets out there (and I know it is confusing).

Some of us have health issues that preclude eating foods that can harm us or cause discomfort, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diabetes or anything that produces a strong allergic reaction. I am not speaking directly to these very real and serious health issues.

What I am talking about is that nutrition is very complex and often the popular diets that are touted (Paleo, Keto, Mediterranean, Atkins, et al) have worked for someone (and may work for you) however, they don’t work for everyone. How many of you have tried a diet that everyone is raving about, and yet it didn’t make your scale budge (or it made you feel worse)?

We all have unique differences in our metabolism, cell structure, body fluid composition and anatomy. On top of that is our ancestry, our sex, activity level and our age. Many vegans and vegetarians find that later in life, they crave more protein, and that can be challenging to their core beliefs around their eating behaviors.

When it comes to metabolism, for example, there are three basic types:

  1. Fast Burners or Protein types – if you are a fast burner, you may be frequently hungry and crave salty and fatty foods. A higher protein diet slows the metabolism.

  2. Slow Burners or Carb types – a carb type has a weak appetite, likes the sweets and has problem with weight control. A slow burner needs a higher percentage of carbohydrates (healthy ones) to speed up the metabolism and feel good.

  3. Mixed types – has an average appetite and an ideal diet for them is both protein and carbohydrates in equal proportion.

You probably know your metabolism type, but if you don’t just pay attention to what you eat and how you feel afterwards. That will give you a clue. I have my clients journal this as it helps them identify their unique way of eating for maximum benefit.

So as you can see, one person’s food is another person’s poison. Don’t pay attention to generalizations about food that have you avoiding red meat, dairy or grains. Food is not bad, it is just the people that pontificate about it LOL. We all need to find our own path and what works well just for us. However, sometimes you just need a little help.

Now bringing this full circle, I want to again invite you to the Women’s Virtual Health Expo, presented by Deborah Heart and Lung Center, on June 26 at 10am. There will be doctors, a chef and me offering tips and guidance for healthy living. As an added bonus, I will be hosting a Self-care Masterclass a few days later that you and a friend can join for the price of one. I hope you (and a friend) will take me up on a little healthy nudge this month!

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