As humans we share many commonalities, starting with our genetic code found tangled up in our DNA. It is common for us to try to prescribe practical measures towards things like health and nutrition that we try to apply to everyone. However, the concept of biochemical individuality has taught us that in spite of our many similarities, each one of use has a uniqueness that deserves a less general approach to our health and well being. We each are biochemically unique and have unique health requirements.
Unraveling the genetic code of the human was the goal of the Genome Project. Our fascination with DNA and inherited characteristics has also developed the study of epigenitcs. Epigenetics, like biochemical individuality, is very fascinating to me. This new science is teaching us that our genes can be changed by our environment and by our lifestyle choices. For a nutritionist this is tantamount! We've been saying all along, "you are what you eat."
However, this genetic uniqueness, coupled with our different life stories, experiences and environment, this makes the job of a health practitioner more difficult. There is no one-size-fits-all prescription for anything! This is precisely why I stay clear of any claims of miracle pills or panacea-like approaches. It's not that easy. We are not that simple.
If you pick up any health magazine you can read articles about health and nutrition that completely contradict one another. And this is the conundrum, both may be true depending on who you're looking at. Some people lose weight on high protein diets, while others may gain. Some people gain weight on high carb diets, while others may lose. There is no perfect program or plan that works for everyone.
The Best Expert On Your Body
So what does this mean for you? This means you have homework to do. And you need to consult with the utmost expert on your body that you can find - YOU! You hold the key to finding optimal health for you. Only you know what feels good and what does not. Only you know what is working for you and what is not. Others may be able to observe from the outside. But you are keenly aware of your inside. And if you are not, then you should start paying attention. The human body is amazing at communicating what is good and what is bad for it.
I will add here that there are times where we cannot trust our own cues and impulses, especially when bad habits have remained for a long time. But when you begin your journey towards optimal health, you will need to consult with your own observations. If you listen closely and carefully, you will learn to hear the right answer.
Working With a Coach
I am in no way trying to diminish the value of a coach, obviously. But this brings up a good point, how do you find the right coach to work with? I feel it is of utmost importance to work with a coach, nutritionist, practitioner, naturopath, doctor, anybody - that understands this concept of biochemical individuality and the effects of environment on our genes. Those who push ONE way for everyone are only effective at helping those who respond well to their ONE way. The rest walk away unsatisfied.
I firmly believe this makes the job of a health practitioner more difficult. It requires we take time to listen, to try things out, and to be willing to say it's not working when it's not. An excellent health coach will be honest and easy to communicate with.
There do exist broader foundational principles that we can apply to almost everyone. For example when we say that a healthy diet is one that is based on whole foods, not refined unadulterated foods. This is a foundational truth about nutrition that we can all start with. You can eat from any of the many WHOLE FOODS at our disposal. From there we can discover what particular concentration of each type of food is optimal for you. Some will find that certain foods will trigger negative reactions and must avoid them. While those same foods may make someone else thrive, hence the saying: "One man's food is another man's poison."
This holds true also for supplementation with vitamins. We find that some people need to consume a lot more of a particular nutrient to get the same effect that another may get from a much smaller dosage. Two people in the same family may eat the same foods while one shows deficient in some nutrients. This is all a result of biochemical individuality and epigenetics.
Finding your optimal nutritional needs is a process of discovery. It is a learning process for both you and your team of coaches. Don't go in looking for a quick fix. Almost everyone I see about health and nutrition wants to have the quick answer to their dilemma. "How do I get rid of this muffin top?" Or, "how do I deal with this chronic condition?"I wish it were that easy! I think I'd be famous and very rich by now if it were. Have patience and seek to be optimally and holistically healthy. This life is the journey to spiritual, mental, emotional and physical wellness. I hope you find it all.
One of the best ways to assess our body's responses to nutrition is through our blood. Functional Blood Chemistry Analysis is an approach to reading blood markers for nutritional deficiencies. If you would like to learn more about this approach, request a free Blood Nutrition Consultation today!