Stop fearing whole foods! In this video I discuss why
“pro-dieters” and “anti-dieters” get this wrong. There is a
reasonable middle ground we can find that will support our optimal health with
our individualized needs in mind.

Anti-dieters, especially in the mental health world tend to see disordered
eating as any restriction of food whatsoever. They create fear around the idea
of restriction. Meaning, they portray the idea that if you restrict any food at
all, you are “disordered” and this is bad. This attitude causes a
huge problem for many people and does not take into account individual
nutritional needs or an ancestral perspective on food. The reality is, not all
food is good for everyone. For many people, to feel their best in their minds
and bodies, some restriction of foods is necessary. It is not healthy for
people to be told that if they take a food out of their diet because they feel
better not eating it, that they are falling into “diet culture”.

On the other hand, in the health and wellness sphere, you see people take
extreme stances around food restrictions. Some people in these spheres frame
whole foods from a fear based perspective. As in, these foods you need to avoid
because terrible things will happen to you if you eat them. You can see that on
both sides of this spectrum- in both extremes- the information is being
communicated from a fear based framework. Fear is a major stressor on the body
and the primary cause of disease. So whether you are promoting “anti diet
culture” or “pro diet culture”- you are causing fear and this is
unhelpful for health and healing.

The key is understanding toxicity and food from a NEUTRAL and objective
perspective. The reality is, nearly everything we consume will have some amount
of toxicity. This is nothing to be afraid of. We can all tolerate some level of
toxicity. The question is, how much toxicity can I tolerate at this stage of my
healing journey? This will dictate how much diversity in foods you can
tolerate. The more severe and complex your symptoms are, the less amount of
toxicity you can probably tolerate, and the more restrictive your diet will
have to be to reach optimal health. This does not mean you should be AFRAID of
these foods- as you gain health and resilience, you should be able to tolerate
more variety of food and the chemical compounds they contain. It is simply a
matter of meeting your body where it is at. This is why we see people in
traditional cultures eating high amounts of so called “toxic” whole foods
such as wheat, corn, soy or potatoes and thriving. We have to look at the
context. They are living in close knit, supportive communities, with fewer
exposure to pollution and pesticides, and a healthy microbiome. People in the
west do not have this same context, and so are going to be more sensitive to
these foods.

About the Author
Jen Donovan completely rebuilt her life and career as a result of her experience with severe chronic illness. After finding no answers from conventional medical approaches, she took matters into her own hands and with the help of key mentors, found a path to healing.
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