Create a Diet that Works for You

I just read a fun and insightful article in Outside Magazine for anyone interested in pursuing better health and nutrition.

Author Jonathan Bradley, who considered himself to be thin, but not all the healthy, describes his experience spending eight weeks each on six different diet plans over the course of a year.  The diets he tried include: the Abs Diet, the Paleo Diet for Athletes, the Mediterranean Prescription, the Okinawa Program, the advice of a personal nutritionist, and the USDA’s nutritional pyramid.

It’s an interesting and entertaining personal story, complete with pictures. The bottom line on what Bradley says he learned: In general, eat lean protein, good fats, olive oil, and healthy, complex carbohydrates. Eat modestly sized meals consisting primarily of produce, sometimes a bit of lean meat, and whole grains that haven’t been bleached and snack on nuts and dates.

Okay, I’ve heard most of that before – but what I think is most impressive about the article is its conclusion. In short, Bradley says is, what works for him, may not work for you!  He recommends that each of us tailor our diet to be best for our own body and its biology! I couldn’t agree more.  To help each of us figure out what that is, he explains the basics of doing an “elimination diet.”

If you research elimination diets, you’ll find the method is commonly used as a way to identify foods you are allergic or sensitive to. If you’re interested in trying this, I suggest you do more research and get an okay from your doctor before proceeding.

Here’s a summary of what Bradley says about his elimination approach:

1. The process takes about two months. Keep a diary of everything you eat and how it makes you feel during that time.

2.  For the first two weeks, eliminate prepared foods, coffee, dairy, nightshades, wheat, soy, alcohol, corn, eggs, anything processed including processed grains, added sugar, and all but the most organic, free-range, grass-fed meats. Mix in an occasional serving of fish, turkey, or buffalo, drink herbal tea, discover spelt bread, and learn to cook quinoa.

3) After that, methodically start adding back, one by one, the foods you eliminated and see what happens for 72 hours after you do. Did that omelet make you feel nauseated? Any skin issues after tomatoes? Did meat make you feel better or worse?

4) After adding back each of the foods for two months, you’ll have a functional idea of which foods work for you and which ones work against you.

Although Bradley doesn’t say it, it makes sense that once you identify problematic foods, you would eliminate them from your diet on a go-forward basis.  While it sounds like a lot of effort, if you often don’t feel well, it could be a worthwhile experiment!

Read the entire article, and see photos at

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Date: Wednesday, 3. February 2010 18:28
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1 Comment

  1. 1

    increased my knowledge by reading this article, i enjoyed =)

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