When I first became interested in nutrition, in my late teens, I read every diet book I could get my hands onto. I had a huge fear of gaining weight and wanted to know exactly how to eat to keep a lean body. I now realize that my obsessive interest was actually not in nutrition but more on body image and my ego-fueled drive to be slim. The more I read about health and nutrition the more confused yet obsessed I became and the more it consumed my life. At that point, full blown eating disorder and all, I would try something new weekly. I know I am not alone in this and my story is actually quite common for teenagers in the 80’s & 90’s. Nutrition can be extremely confusing. I know so much more about my body and how it reacts to what I feed it now. A big realization that took me decades to figure out is there is not one ‘cookie-cutter’ method that will work for everyone on the planet. My goal in writing this post is to level the playing field for all dietary theories and to explain why Jusu Bar is taking a specific stance on our menu offerings.
If you read a well written book about veganism (eating entirely plant-based foods), the benefits of a vegan diet and the environmental impact of a vegan planet, you may feel inspired to become a vegan and adopt an entirely plant-based way of life. There is research that backs up this healthy habit and the physical benefits it brings. There are environmental benefits to eating vegan and, if done properly, it can help you live your life in optimal health. In a perfect world all our vegan meals would be combined properly to include our daily recommended nutrition.
On the flip side, if you read a well-written book on the Paleo diet (eating animal products and plant-based foods) & the benefits of a Paleo diet you may also feel inspired to adopt a Paleo way of life. There is also a lot of research to back up this way of eating, the physical benefits it brings and it can help you live your life in optimal health. If done in an organic way there is also argument for environmental benefits of organic farming over factory farming.
To confuse you even more there is also well-written books, with research to back them, on many other dietary theories like the following:
· Pescatarian Diet
· Eating for Your Blood Type Diet
· Low Carb diets
· Raw food diets
· Mediterranean diet
· Glycemic Index diet
· Macrobiotic diet
· Personality type diet
· South Beach diet
· Weight Watchers diet
· The Zone diet
(…and my son’s, teenage-boy diet the “Dessert-atarian Diet”. This is where you eat vegetarian most of the time but also eat dessert every day. No books or research to back this one up though.)
The list of dietary theories goes on and on to include hundreds, if not thousands of more dietary theories.
You eat THAT? I don’t want to be your friend!!!
What I understand now, that I didn’t understand in my younger years, is that all of these are just ‘theories’. Theories are basically ideas based on experience and/or research that help to explain specific principles. The fact that there are SO many theories around nutrition makes it challenging to know what’s right.
It’s also very interesting to me that not only can people get very passionate around food choices but very judgmental as well. I’ve seen friendships challenged over dietary choices and I’ve had customers say they won’t shop at our stores if we serve certain products. I sometimes find myself slightly uncomfortable when people ask me what dietary theory I live by. What I would like to propose is that we do our own due diligence and a lot of trial and error to find out what works for our own body AND save judgement of others who do not adopt our choices.
As a company we believe in bio-uniqueness. Everyone is unique in their anatomy, body composition, metabolism, ethnicity, genetics, activity level etc., etc. Because of this, different dietary theories will appeal to and benefit different people.
Jusu Bar strives to serve ALL and we certainly do not want to pigeon-hole ourselves into any one particular theory. We do however have an opinion that has little base for disagreement and hopefully judgement. Jusu Bar promotes eating a diet that is 80% plant-based and 20% from whatever theory makes sense to you and your bio-uniqueness. Sometimes this 20% is not obvious and may require some investigation. An 80% plant-based diet may also require further explanation for some, which I will do in a later blog post. What we promote is a well-rounded organic diet choosing mostly foods that grow from a seed.
Of course we want to serve the ‘already healthy’ crowd that understands nutrition but our ultimate goal is to appeal to the ‘fast-food’ demographic to show that nourishing food CAN be delicious and fast. We want to convert! We want to steer this crowd away from fast, processed, carcinogenic food industry to healthy, life-giving food. If we can help this demographic eat well the rest is easy. People feel the benefits of a nutritious diet within days. More energy, mental clarity, less pain, better sleep… and the list goes on and on. We strive to create a menu that is not only geared to the ‘already converted’ but also to the ‘just-testing-it-out’ and sometimes this brings judgement. By adding a very small percentage of our offerings to include animal products we can appeal to hundreds of dietary theories. We realize that this decision may bring criticism but please be assured most of our menu is still vegan, raw, plant based food, juice, smoothies and snacks. Our entire menu is, and will always be, organic. We want to empower people to eat well without discrimination or judgement.
If you have an abundance of calm energy, sleep well, in good spirits, have healthy skin, at your ideal body weight, have a clear mind and generally feel fantastic from top to tail then keep on doing what you’re doing. If you are tired, sick, in pain, don’t sleep well, depressed, overweight or lethargic then maybe your diet needs a tune up.
If you’re unclear on how to eat for optimal vitality, book an appointment with me to get your road map to a healthy life.
I love it when people are passionate about health and nutrition. It is important to remember that research, trends and theories change throughout the years and what’s ‘in’ now may later be questioned.
Questions, comments, concerns, queries, conundrums? Don’t hesitate to ask.
Yours in health & vitality,
Inspiring Health. Energizing Lives!