I often talk of nutrition as a continuum with the SAD Diet on one end and "Perfect" nutrition on the other. We make the point that a lot of people tend toward the SAD end of the continuum and the epidemic status of dis-eases like obesity, diabetes and coronary diseases are the results.
It is becoming more and more evident that a lot of the diseases we associate with aging are not natural parts of the aging process at all, but are more likely side effects of the way we live.
The idea behind the continuum is that you probably won't have perfect nutrition all the time. Rather you'll tend to shift along the continuum to fit your lifestyle and desire/need to optimize your health. The continuum is simply a visual cue to help you see where you are and where you want to be.
While you'll probably move around a bit, your goal should be to settle your nutrition as far to the right as possible over time.
How Do You Move Along The Continuum?
One of the challenges our clients sometimes face in improving their nutrition is feeling like they have to make immediate and drastic lifestyle changes. They feel as though they have to change everything all at once or they won't get any results. When you realize the addictive nature of sugars and grains in our diets, it becomes clear that an all or nothing approach to changing your eating is sure to fail.
Instead you need a transition plan to help you move along the continuum. And the longer you've been eating the SAD diet, the more important it is to gradually transition toward more healthful eating habits.
One of the things we do with all our clients is to identify quick fixes that will move their eating in the right direction. For example, if you are a soda drinker and you drink 3 per day, cutting down to 2 per day, then one and finally zero will have a huge benefit for you. We would usually do this over a 2-3 week period, replacing the soda (or any other sweetened beverage) with water.
Kurt Harris, MD, on his site Archevore.com, has identified a 12 step approach to remove what he terms the "...Neolithic agents of disease..." from your nutrition. I encourage you to read the steps here. Print them out and work through them at your own pace.
You'll notice that there is a lack of counting (calories, points, protein, carbohydrate and fat grams) in these recommendations. That's because as you improve your eating, things like calories and macronutrient ratios tend to take care of themselves. Plus they can often be a distraction from doing the things you most need to do. Which is to eat better quality food instead of "food like" substances.
Start today! Take your time and transition as needed, but get started. Your better health, quality of life and longevity are waiting. If you need help, let us know.