by Glen Depke, Traditional Naturopath
This is a real life event that occurred for me. I was at a breakfast business meeting recently simply enjoying my breakfast and someone walked up to me and asked this question, "You're eating the sausage?" In fairness, this person knows that I am a Traditional Naturopath and was shocked that I actually ate a breakfast sausage.
So my response to this question was, "Did you think I was a vegan?"
So often the general public will have a misconception that I am a vegan or vegetarian or that I consume this ultra rigid diet all the time. To be completely honest, I only know 5 people that eat "perfectly" all the time and here's a little secret. All 5 of these people are "off" somewhere else in their lives. The thought of eating "perfect" all the time is actually a rigid energy and you know the saying "how you do anything is how you do everything." With that said, this rigidity tends to leak into every other area of life and create many other issues. If you are one of those 5 people reading this, you know who you are an off course, nothing personal.
Does this mean I consume a regular diet of breakfast sausage? That's is actually a funny thought but of course not. For that particular meal I had to make my best choice available. Since I am personally intolerant to more than a few foods, eggs and muffins were not an option for me. This left a choice of potato, strawberries and the dreaded breakfast sausage. Knowing that I am a Protein Type, I knew that choosing the potato and strawberries only would leave me with poor energy physically, mentally, emotionally and dealing with cravings. This is why I ate the sausage. So while this was not optimal, this was the best available choice at that time.
So often I see clients that are truly "freaked out" about food. Based on what is going on with our food sources very often people won't even go out to eat and if they end up at an event such as I did, they'll have such and emotional reaction to their nutritional choices. While I respect those that maintain a high level of nutritional integrity, if this focus is creating a significant emotional response in your life, is this still healthy for you? That is the question to ask yourself.
It is most important is to understand your food intolerance and Nutritional ID. Once you know these factors, you'll understand your wiggle room. For intolerance testing I use a company called Cyrex Labs with my clients and order an Array #4 Gluten-Associated Cross-Reactive Foods and Foods Sensitivity. If you need information on this, feel free to contact Depke Wellness at (949)954-6226.
There's also another rule that I follow and teach on a regular basis and that is the rule of 10%. What this means is that 90% of the time you follow your Nutritional ID meal plan while the other 10% of the time, you simply eat what you want. There is on stipulation here though. If you have a food intolerance, this has to be completely eliminated. Due to the fact that Americanized dairy and egg are both intolerant foods for me, this is why the egg and muffin were not choices in the breakfast meeting. When you put this rule of 10% into practice, with the understanding of 3 meals per day and 7 day per week, this means what within the week you will consume 19 very healthy meals according to your Nutritional ID from the best possible sources at your disposal and 2 meals per week, you simply eat what you want. Remember though that intolerant foods are still not included. One of your 10% meals can be a hot fudge sundae and a cocktail (I know that this is too an extreme) but if that is what you are dieing for, have fun!
Now by living by this rule, you create two experiences. The first is that you feel free! The rigidity of never eating this or that is lifted for you. One more reminder, no intolerant foods please. The other benefit of this is on a deeper level though. When you consume 19 meals, right for your Nutritional ID as well as eliminate your intolerant foods and you feel awesome physically, mentally and emotionally this makes it easier to continue this path. Often what occurs is the other 2 meals that you consume that potentially imbalance you, your own internal guidance will shift your cravings for you. I see this all the time with clients as they shift their nutritional integrity and follow the rule of 10%.
So if you see me eating a breakfast sausage, know that this is simply my best choice or perhaps a part of my own 10%. I would suggest that if you treat your nutrition in this way, you may find a way to be in nutritional integrity without rigidity. Isn't that what we're looking for anyway?