Vegetarian, pescetarian, flexitarian, fruitarian, even breatharian, what does
any of it really mean? And the real question being: what are we actually supposed to
eat? With so much information out there, we suffer from a lack of it. There’s science
that shows harmful evidence against drinking coffee one week and the next week a
study has been done showing that drinking coffee can decrease your cancer risk. It’s
this same story across the board of food and nutrition. Eat this, don’t eat that, drink
this, but don’t drink too much of that, I’m beginning to think the breatharians have it
I’m not writing this to tell you what to eat or even how much. I want to talk
about information in the nutritional world. When I first began my journey into
nutrition, I felt lost. But if there were scores of books, articles, research papers,
documentaries, movies, and entire websites dedicated to nutritional information,
why did I feel this way? Most people, including myself, often surround themselves in
a fog when presented with an overabundance of information they don’t understand.
It’s not that we are too dumb to make sense of the facts; it’s more about the inability
to process all of said facts instantaneously. With the overabundance of facts about
nutrition, it’s no wonder that most people don’t process it all. So what can we do?
How do we understand what we are supposed to eat?
1. Start small.
Don’t expect to understand nutrition in a day. Food is a science. Just as you
would not be able to master the Theory of Relativity on your lunch break, neither
will you understand all theories of nutritional science. So begin with the basics. Start
to study the science; what is food made of, what are its components? Learn your
macros from your micros. Learn what enzymes are! Food is so much more than
what we pop in the microwave or pick up from the drive-thru. Study the origins.
2. Know your sources
As you begin to look deeper into the science of food, make sure that you are
reading the right material. This is not a subjective thing. If I’m looking at a website
called rippedmuscles.com and reading about plant protein versus animal protein
they may have some skewed facts versus Harvard.edu, which will have information
based on unbiased science.
3. Do the research yourself
Don’t be afraid to read research papers yourself. A wise man once told me,
“Data doesn’t lie, it’s the interpretation of that data that can lie.” Be broad in your
research as well. If you read an article or watch a documentary supporting
something, read or watch its counterpoint, and listen to the dissuading arguments.
Read and watch everything, then make an informed decision. You can’t intake too
much, I promise.
4. Get your hands dirty
As you discover more about nutrition, experiment with it for yourself. When
you begin making informational leaps and bounds, translate it to your life. Cook,
blend, chop, bake, plant, breathe, see what works for you. Give it a little time too. But
if it’s not working, then keep expanding. Don’t get stuck in a nutritional box.
5. Share and connect
Talk about your dietary discoveries and changes with friends and family or
even groups on social media. Having that support can make a huge difference. And
by reaching out, you never know who might share the same ideas as you do! Swap
facts, share recipes, have an experimental cooking night. Food is life, so it makes
sense to incorporate it into other areas of life.
Food is an amazing thing, not something to be misunderstood. Don’t let fad
diets and propaganda from industry fool you into thinking inside the box. Break
free, learn, grow, and make your own nutritional choices for yourself. Life can be
more than delicious; it can also be nutritious.
Information Overload by Libby Young check out her classes at maitriyogaarkansas.com