Diet and Life Style Change
Answered by: Christine Dennis
Question from: Nakia
Posted on: January 28, 2008

I am a mother of two and married and am very concerned of the foods we eat and want to make better life style choices. My husband wants to gain weight; I want to lose weight. I’m almost 300lb at age 29. [What] I wanted to know is going vegetarian or just fish and vegetables good. And how do we cleanse ourselves from the foods we have already consumed.

There is no one diet for everyone. Rather everyone’s diet must be looked at on an individual basis with respect to their individual constitution, genetic makeup, daily needs and activities and their current state of health or dis-ease.

For example, the Canada Food Guide is just that - a GUIDE for a person who is in a perfect state of health with moderate daily activity and regular exercise.

However, one would rarely come across a person who is in a perfect state of health. Therefore, an individual needs to look at the Canada Food Guide but also be aware of their individual health/dis-ease and life and then make adjustments accordingly. A holistic health practitioner can help determine what an individuals needs are.

Generally speaking, the majority of the diet should be made up of a variety of whole foods. The more whole and the less refined the foods you eat, the more nutrient packed they are. Variety is important because a diet is then able to give a whole variety of minerals and vitamins and other essential nutrients every day. For example, wheat gives a specific range of nutrients and is commonly used to make bread, bagels, pizza dough, pasta, muffins, cookies, etc. However, if one went for a variety of flours when choosing these various food items, such a spelt, kamut, rice, buckwheat, rye, lentils, millet, etc., a much broader range of nutrients could be gained in a daily diet. So instead of eating wheat bread as toast for breakfast, try rye or spelt toast instead. Or instead of having a wheat pasta for lunch, try a rice pasta instead. And instead of have wheat cookies for dessert, try kamut or buckwheat cookies instead. The same is rue for vegetables and fruit. Instead of sticking with the common carrots, peas and potatoes try vegetables such as kale, beets and sweet potatoes. Or instead of apples, bananas or oranges, try blueberries, pumpkin or kiwis.

As for your question regarding animal or vegetable proteins, again, this really depends on the individual. Generally, vegetable proteins are easier to digest but require proper combining to ensure all the necessary amino acids are obtained. Animal proteins, although not compete proteins either, provide more amino acids than any vegetable. Again, variety is important. To help decide what diet is best for you and your family, I recommend that you consult a holistic health practitioner.

For information on cleanses, I recommend "The Juicing Bible" and "The Smoothies Bible" and they are available from Richters. They are both excellent books helping one choose which vegetable, fruits and herbs are best for cleansing with along with great tasty recipes to try.

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