My nutrition philosophy

It’s been a journey!

Little did I know when my boyfriend Mark (now husband) back in 1996 bought me a diet book that it would change the entire course of my life! Both my health and my career had a change in direction.

What book had this power you are probably wondering? If you are familiar with my previous blog you will be familiar with my story.

The book that changed my life was ‘Enter the Zone’ by Barry Sears PhD. I’ve put my story below because the journey has been one of discovery and learning, but first let me explain a little about why this new website. Why I’m moving on from ‘paleo & zone nutrition’.

I’ve recently completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Science at Massey University in New Zealand. The study of nutrition requires one to be open minded, to look at clinical evidence, and make judgements based on that evidence.

I no longer want to be seen as purely a Zone diet or Paleo diet nutritionist. Labels unfortunately have baggage. Misinformed bloggers give inaccurate and often false representations of diets. Paleo for example is often interpreted as high fat, high protein. It is about the foods you eat and the foods you don’t. This has given rise to such clueless interpretations as ‘bacon is the best meat you can eat, and you can eat any amount of it’ ‘As long as it is made of paleo ingredients – it’s paleo’. I do NOT want to be associated with such nonsense. Most of the clinical studies using the paleo diet are not low carb, not high fat nor are they high in protein. (See Frassetto studies).

The combination of a paleo diet with zone diet ratios was miraculous for my health. This does not mean others will have the same results or that it will be the best diet for them. We each have different disease processes, metabolic issues, activity levels, genetic variances which means we need to find what works best for us.

I’m a firm believer in N=1, this just means the number in the study is one, and that one is often oneself. I’ve tried multiple diets myself. I know what works for me – to date, this does not mean I have found the answer. I’ll keep looking, keep experimenting in order to keep in best mental and physical health.

You too should experiment to find what works for you.

Despite the labels – there are some similarities to diets that promote health, here are just a few requirements of a healthy diet:

  • They are anti-inflammatory
  • They look after your microbiome
  • They do not let you get obese
  • Are high in nutrients
  • Have few if any processed foods
  • Manage hunger and satiety, so you don’t overeat
  • Provide all essential nutrients without the need for supplementation

Your diet could be plant based, Mediterranean, Ancestral, it could be low or high carb, low or high fat. It may or may not include grains. What is important is that your health and energy markers are maintained on your diet. If not – it’s not the right diet for you.

This blog will therefore not be limited to any particular diet label. I’ll talk about the science, and what makes the healthiest human diet, how we can individualise for different healthy conditions. By the same token I’m not going to jump onto dissing diets just because they have a label, or because they are promoted by a celebrity. Nutrition science is moving all the time. We need to be open minded and be constantly informed by both science and I believe anecdotal reports of what works.