“If You Could Make Just ONE Dietary Recommendation…?”
A few days ago, I was able to re-connect with an old childhood friend I hadn’t seen for a decade.
The last 10 years have been quite a journey for her, health-wise. I’ll give you the short-ish version.
After dealing with mystery symptoms that were all over the map for a few years, she was finally diagnosed with MS.
Although it wasn’t good news, she felt a tremendous sense of relief in finally KNOWING what was causing all her symptoms.
Thankfully, she’s of the mindset that true health recovery is HER responsibility, not that of a doctor, drug, or procedure. Also thankfully, she lives in a region of the world where it’s quite common for average folks to take initiative with their health recovery and think outside the box when it comes to building a healthy lifestyle.
So, she crafted her own team of healing experts and got to work on re-building her health.
She worked on her nutrition & diet, her mindset, her spiritual health, her stress levels, her breathing, her gut health, her physical fitness, her sleep, she removed countless toxic household & personal care items from her routine, and on and on. She hired Chiropractors, naturopaths, holistic nutritionists, acupuncturists, massage therapists, trainers, spiritual healers, body workers, energy healers… in addition to the neurologist and medical team she checked in with on occasion.
She knew that she could keep MS in check if her body, mind, and spirit were functioning at their best.
She totally rocked the health transformation!
It’s no surprise that she looks a good 15-20 years younger than she actually is! She FEELS even younger than that!
Interestingly enough, a couple years ago at her check-in with her neurologist, she was told that “now we don’t really think you have MS… we can’t find any sign of lesions.”
This is NOT the first time I’ve heard a story like this! I’m grateful that the body heals (by the grace of God), and I’m grateful that she never really got caught up in the LABEL or DIAGNOSIS of “MS”. She did got caught up in re-creating her life in a way that would support her greatest expression of health!
Whether the diagnosis is MS, cancer, diabetes, Crohn’s, an autoimmune condition, or any other chronic illness… we MUST re-build our health in order to get better, or at the very least, in order to slow the progression. Make sense? The only way out is better health!
ANYHOW… when I said she worked on her nutrition & diet, she has evolved through many phases and “experiments” with dietary approaches, if you will.
She started with “cleaning things up” and eating mostly real food, whole food, and less toxic food. She dramatically cut down on all sources of sugar. She has been gluten-free, she has been vegetarian, she has tried a Mediterranean approach, she has done high protein, she has done low protein, she cut out alcohol, she has been grain-free, she has been dairy-free, she has done Whole30, she has been Paleo, she has done Keto… she has been working her way through them all!
Her functional nutritionist recently told her she needed to add a lot more healthy fats to her already clean and low (refined) carb diet. She did and IMMEDIATELY felt another profound shift in her health!
As we sat there eating our monster salad for lunch and chatting about her health evolution, the Ketogenic and high fat/low carb approach, healthy homemade salad dressings, glucose & insulin, diet variation, intermittent fasting, and therapeutic fasting, (as only a couple of health geeks can do!) she asked me a great question…
“If you could make just ONE dietary recommendation to someone, what would it be?”
This was quickly followed up with…
“Are you telling all of your patients and clients to do the Keto diet?”
NOPE. I’m not.
I share the massive health benefits of tapping into ketosis from time to time… the benefits of doing the work that will teach your body how to burn fat (ketones) for fuel vs. sugar… so that you will enjoy the benefits and freedom of metabolic flexibility.
It’s hard to ignore the profound benefits of getting into ketosis. It’s also hard to ignore the benefits of getting OUT of ketosis… the right way. Stepping back and re-introducing healthy sources of carbs and mixing things up can make all the difference in the world.
Diet Variation is King!
So, to answer her original question I said, “Eat REAL and Eat CLEAN.
… Eat real food that’s grown, raised, harvested, hunted, caught… eat food that’s the least toxic & least tainted as possible… eat food that’s as close to its naturally occurring state as possible… eat fresh food… eat food that wasn’t made in a factory… eat food that is local & seasonal whenever possible. Eat simple food!”
Sound familiar? It’s the Golden Rules of Nutrition I’ve been talking about for eons! (Now you can find it in the Bull’s Eye Daily Food Guide, by the way.)
(Oh, and quit eating ALL THE TIME! Eating too often is arguably worse than eating too much! It’s an addiction-like behavior that can keep us locked into the highly inflammatory state of chronic sugar burning.)
Funny how it all came full circle for her. Telling her that I recommend eating real & clean brought her back to where she began her journey. That’s the first shift she made after her diagnosis! Through it all, through all the trials, experiments, and tests she did with foods to see how her body would respond… she always stuck with real foods that were as clean as possible.
Betcha’ that’s exactly why she has been able to stump the original docs and completely turn her health around!
Dr. Colleen Trombley-VanHoogstraat (“Dr Mom Online”) is a popular personality in Natural Health & Wellness and is in her 24th year of active practice in Michigan, along with her husband Dr. Marc VanHoogstraat. She’s also the proud mom of two rather fabulous kiddos that she currently home schools. Her unique perspective of the science of Wellness provides predictable solutions and transformational results for those struggling with chronic health issues, as well as those seeking lifelong health. To discover her simple strategies for creating better health through nutrition, movement, mindset, cellular detoxification, and metabolic re-setting, jump on board as a regular reader of Dr Mom Online when you plug in your name and email address.
*** Be sure to download your personal copy of “The Bull’s Eye Daily Food Guide” – it’s a FREE gift for you! This is your single-glance tool to simplify nutrition, maximize fat loss & metabolic flexibility, and optimize vibrant health & longevity! You will definitely want this tool posted in your kitchen or on your phone for reference! Claim your copy!
For more of Dr. Colleen’s Wellness Lifestyle books, check out her library available on Amazon.