February 7, 2011


There is so much talk and confusion about what to eat and how to eat, it's crazy!  Some people swear by the macrobiotic diet, some swear by the raw food diet, yet others swear by the paleo diet. 

With so much conflicting information out there, how does one decide which approach is right?  And to confuse matters even more, you see people shifting their lifestyle overnight from one extreme to the next.  Whether it's from the standard American junk-food diet to 100% raw vegan diet, or from a 100% raw vegan fruitarian diet to an all meat-based paleo diet.  You may be asking yourself, what in the world is going on?  Well, here's how I've learned to stay balanced as trends change in the health movement.  

As different as each of these diets are (macrobiotic, raw food, paleo), there is one crucial aspect they all share, so lets look at that first.  What is the one thing these varying diets all have in common?  They ALL exclude processed foods!  So we can at least rest assured that processed foods are completely out of the question.  Okay, now that we've identified what we absolutely shouldn't eat, lets figure out what we can consider as healthy options.

The way I prefer to approach this delema is to look at what each diet offers and learn from each one - because there is truth in each one of them.  The macrobiotic diet, for instance, focuses on ancient whole grains.  I can see the value in that.  Does that mean the majority of my diet should only be grains?  Of course not.  But it does indicate that fiber-rich whole grains may be beneficial.  So I like to include some ancient gluten-free grains in my diet.

What about the raw vegan diet that everyone raves about? This lifestyle stresses fresh, living, chlorophyll-rich plant foods.  I completely resonate with that.  For this reason I like to load up on a ton of fresh fruits and veggies and leafy greens!  Is my diet exclusively raw vegan?  No, because again other foods have value as well.

As far as the paleo diet, the main focus here is to eat locally and wild much in the same way tribal cultures eat.  That makes sense.  Okay, so I draw inspiration and wisdom from this view and start incorporating more local and seasonal foods, along with wild edibles when available.  

I may even consider introducing wild game into my diet at some point.  If and when I'm ready to make that transition, you can bet I'll find a local, sustainable farm that raises their animals organically, ethically, and pasture-fed.  Does that mean I'll be eating meat every day?  Absolutely not, but I may consider trying 4-6 oz once a week.  (This is something I intuitively feel would be a wise step for me in preparation for a pregnancy, when the time is right.)

What I'm hoping to achieve ultimately, is a balanced diet by drawing on the wisdom of different views.  I never understood why so many of us feel like we need to adhere to any one extreme.  Why not get the best of all worlds and find a happy medium that includes a little bit of good from everything?  

So if you're trying to make sense of all the confusion out there, my best advice is to take what resonates with you (and what actually works for your body), and leave the rest out.  Create a custom lifestyle plan that honors your body and soul.  For me personally, I never cared much for restricted diets.  If you've ever read any of my previous posts, my primary aim has always been to create a healthy balance.  And that's what allows me to stay grounded, even in the face of changing trends.

If you're still unsure and would like to hear what the experts say, check out The Great Health Debate.  This is a FREE online event going on RIGHT NOW!  Some of the leading health experts in the field debate the question of plant-based versus whole-food diets.  Find out what they have to say as they go head to head, with some serious research to back up their claims!  Just go to TheGreatHealthDebate.com and sign up for FREE.


  1. two thumbs up! what an inspiring post that should speak to every person on every walk of their journey to health.

    and i couldn't agree more with all your points

  2. Glad to find your blog. I like your post and am going to look at your granola which looks great.

  3. Thanks Sasha, so happy you found me!

  4. Wonderful information, thanks for taking the time to share it.
    Peace & Raw Health,

  5. thanks kindly Elizabeth, so glad you enjoyed it ;-)

  6. Oh wow - this is very timely for me! I have friends doing all of these things - some of them exclusively - and I'm considering jump-starting my system by going raw for awhile. We raise grass-fed cattle and free-range turkeys and chicken - but still rarely eat meat :). Unfortunately, I still don't eat all that healthfully....better than the Average American but really - that's not saying much, is it? I found you thru Vegan Once A Day....glad I did!

  7. So happy you found me Sardine Mama! Sounds like you're heading in the right direction ;-) Looking forward to connecting with you!

  8. Although you may not have the time to try every single diet, it's good that you provided some info regarding current diets. Thanks for posting.

  9. I figure, why not take a short cut and find a happy medium among all diets ;-)


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