Bio-individuality is the idea that each of us has unique food and lifestyle needs and no food philosophy or diet can yield the same results for everyone. With this in mind, what worked for your sister or friend, may not be what works for you. You have a unique mix of biology, genes, experiences, medical history, goals, and motivations. Your individual needs for fitness and nutrition need to be organized for what works for you! There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to nutrition but there are a few foundational starting points for health. Food has the power to make you sick or to heal you.
How can you use bio-individuality to take your eating habits to the next level? Well, the good news is you are stuck in your body 24/7 and it is an incredible machine that is keeping you alive without you even having to think about it. What you need to pay attention to is how your food makes you feel—and a little bit of trial and error. Practice patience, try different combinations of protein, carbs and fat until you find what works for you. So, that sounds great and all but how do you do it?
- The first thing you can do is to educate yourself. Learn how to read nutrition labels to really see what you’re putting into your body. Fresh, nutrient-dense, whole food. As a general rule, the less ingredients and the closer they are to their original form, the better. The ingredients are listed from the most abundant to the least so if sugar is one of the first three, you may try to avoid it. There are over 30 terms for sugar that the food industry uses, get familiar with those so you know what to avoid. If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it. The best thing you can do for your health is to at least know what you’re putting into your body.
- Eat a variety of plants and choose as many colors as you can. All plant foods have phytochemicals which are various biologically active compounds found in plants. Studies have shown potential preventive medicinal benefits such as maintaining inflammation balance, reducing the risk of certain cancers, and promoting cardiovascular, neurocognitive, eye, and bone health. This makes them the rock stars of food.
- Drink water. All day, every day. Aim for at least half your body weight in ounces. If you drink caffeinated beverages, add as many ounces in water in addition to that. For example, if you drink 10 oz of coffee every day, you need an extra 10 oz of water. Your body, skin, hair and digestion will thank you.
With the above basics in mind find more of what makes you feel good and less of what doesn’t. Enjoy the process and keep in mind, your body will not stay the same for the next 20 years so you will have to evolve with it. Practice your mind-body connection and focus on the things that really work. Enjoy the process and keep in mind, your body will not stay the same for the next 20 years so you will have to evolve with it.
About the Author
Viviana Durand is currently working in her Nutritional Therapy Certification from the Nutrional Therapy Association. Born and raised in Mexico, she now calls San Antonio home. She has a love and passion for holistic health and nutrition, complemented by movement through CrossFit and running. She started The Realness Project with fellow CrossFitter and sister, Lara and you can find them at RealnessProject.com and on Instagram @realnessproject for nutrition, fitness and real talk.