I Hope This Will Help.

People are going Diet crazy! I can’t even tell you how many people contact me about what they should eat. I hear things like this:

1.     I really try to stay on a raw food diet, but my husband eats meat. It just does not work for me all the time.

2.     I can’t seem to stay on my vegan diet when I am traveling. What should I eat?

3.     Yeah, I tried the Paleo Diet, and I feel so much better since I have been eating that way. What do you think? I often feel bad that I might be doing something wrong, but I feel better.

4.     Vegetarians live longer; this has been the diet for me, but my sister just started the BulletProof Diet. She is doing well and I am shocked and now confused.

5.     What is the best weight loss program? I heard that a juice fast is the best way to loose weight fast.

6.     I thought you were a raw food vegan. What happened, why did you start eating eggs and bone broth?

What’s Really Going On Here?

Are you confused? Do you need help deciding on what diet to eat, or which one to let go of? Are your beliefs helping or hurting you? Are your beliefs about others hurting you? Are you nagging your husband, wife or kids that they should eat better? What diet really suites your lifestyle, and your body at this time in your life? Have you tried everything and still do not get the results you want? How do you feel? How is your weight?

Let's talk more about this.

 “Healthy food” is expressed in a virtual all-you-can-eat buffet of diets that claim to be "the ONE" we need to achieve the energy, beauty and vitality we so desperately crave. This dietary smorgasbord includes: vegetarian and vegan diets, the Blood Type Diet, Raw ‘Living’ Food Diet, Macrobiotic Diet, Mediterranean Diet, the South Beach Diet, the Maker’s Diet, The BulletProof Diet, Nourishing Traditions, and an overabundance of others from doctors, nutritionists and entrepreneurial researchers, claiming theirs to be ‘the ONE true way.’ 

There are protein powders, supplements, and superfoods galore. While there is a lot of fluff out there, by way of dietary advice, there also exist many doctors, researchers and food pioneers steering us toward more functional foods and serving us up a variety of facts, studies, recipes and diets full of integrity. With all this information around, you would think we would be convinced and on our way to healthy food heaven. But instead, so many of us are still confused – perhaps even overwhelmed.

Though food has been my study and part of my own life purpose, I will admit to having lived in a state of nutritional confusion many times. As I experienced an aging body, my health challenges increased and I found myself experimenting with nutritional protocols to keep my bones strong, alleviate my allergies, keep me focused, and give me the energy for a full life. Health pioneers have been my teachers, my guides and my mentors as I searched for answers along the way, but my own body has been my best teacher.

My dietary changes - some out of necessity and some just for fun -fueled me to finally creating a dietary practice that includes many aspects of the above-mentioned diets.  Why, you might ask, as many have?

Here is the truth of this matter. All of these diets work. What do they have in common? They all include food from the Earth and not the Factory. Pure whole foods are the way to go. At different times in our life we need different nourishment. A child, for instance, will often just nibble here and there. Worried parents are shoving more food down them, while they just want spaghetti, or fruit or what ever fancies them. They seem to sprout overnight no matter what they eat.

Then there are teens that wolf down so much food you would think they would burst. Bursting they are, with energy, growth spurts, and hormones raging. They need fuel and they need a lot of it.

Again, let me be clear, I am ONLY speaking about healthy diets here that include only foods from the Earth not the Factory (organic grown, and GMO free).

When we get older and move to new climates our body and diet often changes. For instance, I just heard recently, that older people need more meat or animal foods, where they did not need them as much when they were younger. We need muscle and we need bones.  Is this true?

I remember, when I was a vegan raw foodist, people would beg me to eat a piece of salmon. I was so thin and just needed to be grounded. I remember the day I decided to eat a piece of chicken at a Wild Oats store in New Mexico. I don’t remember what moved me – sheer animal desire I suppose, but I do remember how I approached my purchase. I don’t believe I had any forethought. I saw a piece of crispy cooked chicken breast wrapped in clear wrap in the “to go” section of the store. As my hand reached for it, I became aware that I had made a decision to eat it. Within moments I began to salivate and began tearing open the package before I got to the check out. Standing in line I began gobbling it like a child who had been starved for many years. With manners abandoned, I savored every bite, even chewed on the small brittle bones. Ahhhhhhhh.

Did I have a stomachache? No. Did I want to throw up afterwards? No. Since I was a vegan and had been for many years, the only remorse I felt was guilt, like I had done something horrible. This feeling of guilt had to be more damaging to my health that any chicken breast.

Here is the truth of the matter. All of the above-mentioned diets, and more than I mentioned, work for those who enjoy them. People rave about which ever one is working for them. Finally, they say things like: my skin cleared up, I have more energy, I finally lost weight, I sleep better at night, and I stopped sugar cravings.

All of these diets have one thing in common. They are real food, hopefully grown in healthy organic soil. This must be how people ate years ago. People like me. When I grew up there was no such thing as all these diets. We just ate food – real food. When we wanted to loose weight, we would cut out all the sweets (pie, cake, donuts and ice-dream), and cut down on our portions. Period, end of story. It was easy and there was no confusion around dietary choices.

Now, so many people are confused, and I must admit to that same state of being, until I finally let all my beliefs go and listen to my body. While letting them go, I also discovered there is much more to our health than just our food choices. This is another matter that I will be speaking about in upcoming posts. 

Why did I let my strict habits fly out the window? Because it felt right to do so. My body still feels good. I have not gained or lost weight. I am feeding my soul and my body, truly nourishing myself on every level. In other words, I eat what I want, when I want it. I let go of diets. OK, this is not totally true. I do have some very strict rules: I will not eat any GMO foods. I only buy organic foods and I am truly one of those gals who shops on the outside isles of the grocery store. More often than not, I purchase from the local farmer.

Being a foodie on an island has provided a huge benefit to me in that I know all the growers and where to get the best. This includes eggs and dairy. I ferment my own veggies, make Beet Kvass, and my own bone broth from bones that are delivered to me from the local deer, or cows raised on an organic pasture. This may sound cruel, but we have an overflow problem of deer population on Maui. They create havoc for all the farmers, ranchers and home owners. The USDA finally stepped in and they now harvest the deer in a most humane way possible. Bones are delivered to me to make rich broths, which I often deliver to others in need. Am I a carnivore now? I guess I would have to answer, "yes", at least now and then.

You might say that I take the best of all culinary heavens and enjoy them all. This does not mean that I recommend such a diet for my clients. We are individuals and live in different climates and have different lives. We must do what is right for our body, mind and soul. This is vital to our well being. I can't say this enough. Guilt, pressure and confusion do not belong in wellness. I love to help people find the right foods for them, foods that delight their taste buds, fulfill their desires, lifestyle, age and personal circumstances.  Our lives are busy and stressful enough. Let's find some extra wellness in our choices while listening to our body.

Many ask what I eat now, so below this post is a list of the foods that I include in my diet the majority of the time.

Are you confused? Do you need help deciding, or letting go? Are your beliefs helping or hurting you? Are your beliefs about others hurting you? Are you nagging your husband, wife or kids that they should eat better? What really suites your lifestyle, and your body at this time in your life? Have you tried everything and still do not get the results you want? How do you feel? How is your weight?

Let's talk more about this.

Maybe I can help. If you are interested in a complimentary consultation, let's chat. Contact me and set up a time (include your time zone): susan@chefteton.com.

My Diet (Raw, Cooked & Cultured Foods)

Fermented Foods:  Veggies (everyday), beet kvass, some Ogi, and coconut kefir.

Raw Foods: Desserts made with nuts, seeds, fruits, coconut meat, veggies (carrots and beets), nut butters, dehydrated crackers, salads and veggies, raw butter, ginger, turmeric, sunflower sprouts, greens.

Cooked Foods: steamed vegetables, topped with Ghee, eggs, occasional chicken and fish, soups, onions, garlic, turmeric, Ayurvedic foods such as lentils, rice, ginger, curry, and coconut, broths, noodles, yams and sweet potatoes, taro.

Baked Goods: Dave's Bread (not much bread but now and then the day calls for a good piece of toast) cookies, light coffee cakes (usually gluten free flours) and some Paleo Pies made with fresh fruits and almond flour. Baked good and sweets are minimal in my life. Now and then some rice crackers and chips, but not often, corn tortillas (occasionally).

Sweeteners: local raw honey, a little maple syrup.

Liquids: Red wine of course (not a big drinker but love good wine), lemon water, Barlean's Greens, smoothies now and then with fresh fruits and/or frozen, Mate, and Matcha tea.

Condiments: salt - lots of good Celtic Sea Salt, pepper, and rosemary, cumin, coriander, and fennel are my main staples.

Now and then I eat a little chocolate, but not often because I am not a chocolate lover!

Here is what I don't eat:

GMO foods or anything grown or raised eating GMO foods. Processed foods such as frozen pizzas and other frozen entrees, most baked goods like muffins, cookies, pies and cakes (when in the mood I make my own, but it is seldom), beans (eat only lentils because I don't like beans), most grains and pastas. I am sure I must have left something out, but you get the idea. When I look at all the diets, I see that I pick the best of all of them in a way. How about you? What works for you? Do you love your choices? I sure hope so, because we need to love our choices because the depth of nourishment comes from love.

Contact me for a complimentary no obligation consultation: Susan@ChefTeton.com and let's schedule a time for us. I would love to hear from you.