First, I don’t ever advocate dieting . Diets don’t work and the only way to “lose weight” is to get healthy and make a lifestyle change. I agree that our society is ridiculous with such social emphasis on thin, unhealthy weights and starvation based lifestyles. Kids see role models that are bone thin and completely malnourished! That puts a ton of pressure on adolescents. It’s not realistic and obviously not working as we see obesity and diabetes rates rising at astronomical rates.
I really try to focus on emphasizing the importance of nourishing the body with vitamins, mineral, and essential nutrients to ensure good health. I don’t really believe in the PALEO diet because it is a fad diet and in all actuality – it isn’t an authentic diet. There no way that we could actually eat as our paleolithic ancestors did. We simply don’t have the same habitat/environment. Todays’s berries, vegetables and seeds are nothing like the ones bought in grocery stores today. It is simply just a different environment and time period.
That being said, the PALEO diet does focus on No processed foods!!!!—- which is a huge improvement from what most Americans are eating today. A diet rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and organic, grass-fed lean meats is amazing for the body. It can only be sustainable though if it is implemented in small steps. I usually try to get patients to first adopt the idea that what they eat significantly impacts their health. I try to get them off of soda, packaged foods ,and sugars first. Then we start to implement changes that compatible with their lifestyle, work schedules, and individual tastes.
I will have patients first watch some of the newer documentaries like “Hungry For Change” and “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” which are entertaining films that really hit home regarding the idea that “you are what you eat”. In Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, Joe Cross literally cures himself of the disease “chronic urticaria” by changing his diet.
Of course —everyone should consult with their doctor before making any changes. Certain diet changes really should be tailored to specific disease states, medicines and lifestyles. I believe your doctor should be your partner and should work with you in tailoring lifestyle changes. I have seen amazing results in patients that have been willing to make some changes. They get off of medications, feel better, lose weight, and enjoy life more!
Personally, my life is busy and it is really hard to sustain a healthy eating pattern. I work full-time and have daughters that keep me running. We like to spend Sundays juicing fruits and veggies and making meals for the week. It is the only way we can stay on track and it is good bonding time (YES-I do give them allowance for helping #BRIBE). We still eat junk sometimes and my kids certainly don’t always eat like me. But, I can hope that they are at least becoming more aware of their food choices. We do like to get outdoors and hike on weekends and sit down and watch movies together. Yes we even occasionally eat popcorn and sno-caps which are both UBER unhealthy!!! It’s all relative!!!
I love my practice because I love to see people change!! I relish in seeing their lives improve and taking control of their own health. It is the most rewarding profession that I can imagine myself doing. If one person is helped by what I have to offer–it is worth it!