By Sophia Godkin, PhD and Katarina Smythe
Food is a fact of life. We need food to survive and to grow.
In prehistoric times food was not something that we questioned or agonized over. We ate when we were hungry and stopped when we were full; we lived off the land and consumed what was available. What was available was exactly what our bodies needed because living in that particular climate and environment had led us to evolve in a particular way.
Conditions like obesity, food addiction, bulimia and anorexia did not exist before modern times. But today, we as a species have developed a somewhat warped relationship with food – especially in the western world. Our food has never been as mass produced or as processed as it is today. The term ‘fast food’, believe it or not, is a relatively new one.
In short, we have forgotten what food is – our very nourishment and sustenance.
The fact remains that we need food – it is crucial to our overall health and well-being. Yet our nutritional needs are not all the same. We are each unique due to the specific combination of genes we find ourselves with and the environment we find ourselves in, so it’s no surprise that our nutritional needs are also unique.
When we begin to ask questions about what’s best for us and leave the plethora of generic health and nutrition advice from the media and health industry behind, we begin to experience true health. Here are some questions that personalized nutrition can give us an answer to – an answer that is different for each and every one of us.
Protein – what is the best source for me? Fish? Beans? Quinoa? Chicken? Turkey?
Energy – what and when should I eat to maintain energy throughout the day?
Raw fruit, fruit juice, or fruit smoothie?
Should I sweeten with sugar, honey or agave?
One or two? How many snacks should I eat in a day?
Nutrients – which ones am I getting enough of and which do I need more of?
After exercise, what should I eat?
Larger and fewer meals or smaller and more frequent meals? Which is ideal for my body?
Is gluten really something I should avoid?
Sugar cravings – why do I get them and how can I prevent them?
Eliminating grains – should I do it?
Do I really need to eat breakfast?
Not eating after 7pm – will it help me lose weight?
Unfortunately, I’ve tried everything and still can’t lose weight. What do I do?
Timing – when and how often should I eat for maximum benefit?
Raw or cooked? How should I prepare my vegetables?
Is low-carb the best nutrition plan for me?
They say cutting out dairy is can help with better digestion and clearer skin. Is that safe for me?
Is kale really as good for me as I hear?
Only egg white or eat the yolk too?
Nuts – which are the healthiest for my body?
If you’ve asked yourself these questions and found that your answer to most was ‘Aah! I don’t know!’ – don’t panic. You would be hard-pressed to find someone who knows all the answers to their nutritional needs and doesn’t take a step in uncertainty from time to time. The fact that you’re interested in the questions at all is an incredible step forward – it means that you want to make a positive change to your nutrition and health.
One way to find the answers to your own nutritional needs is to educate yourself, read up and do heaps of research, maybe get a Ph.D. Yet you still won’t have all the answers that are tailored and accurate specifically for you. The best way then is to sign up for ph360 – a program completely personalized to your genetics and epigenetics that tells you exactly which foods are best for you and which you might consider avoiding. With the help of such customized programs, you can become your own nutritionist over time and take charge of your own health and your own life!