Jeff and I released a Potential Podcast episode this week entitled “The Best Diet For You Is… The Best Diet For YOU.”
In this episode (which you can catch here) we discuss tips for establishing the right mindset before jumping into a diet and give reflection topics to aid you in coming up with a realistic and long-term plan for your nutrition. In the opener, I jokingly say that the title “sounds like a cop-out, but it isn’t.” Truly, the best diet for you is, the best diet for YOU.
Since that episode I had a really GREAT conversation with an individual who gave me permission to share the conversation with you in blog form. Remember, I have a degree in theatre, so let me set the scene…
The recording studio of a radio station. News talk plays quietly in the background as GIOSI sits busily preparing for a show (a.k.a. nodding off while reading notes from the current legislative session.) LADY enters the dark room and wakes GIOSI up. LADY is delicately eating a candy bar.
LADY: So, I listened to your podcast. It was good, but I do think it was a cop-out.
Giosi: (smile) Hello!
LADY: I don’t want to journal, I just want to be told what to eat. So I’m going to purchase one of the DNA tests that tells you what diet is best for your specific DNA. I looked into them and they’re extremely expensive, so I wanted your opinion on *company A* versus *company B*. (The companies have been removed because they’re irrelevant to the point of this post and because I haven’t done enough research to truly suggest either.)
GIOSI: Do you really want my opinion?
LADY: Of course!
GIOSI: Keep in mind I’m frugal. (LADY rolls her eyes at this obvious understatement about GIOSI’s cheapness.) But I don’t understand spending that much money on a diet plan that is specified for your DNA unless you actually want to change your diet first.
LADY: (Clearly confused.) I do want to change my diet.
GIOSI: Be honest, what did you eat for breakfast today?
LADY: Honestly, so far I’ve had a Coke and this candy bar.
GIOSI: Again, be honest, and know that this is a genuine question and not me trying to shame you. – Do you think those are healthy options?
LADY: Not at all.
GIOSI: And knowing that did not change your mind about eating it for breakfast. You didn’t need to know that was not ideal for your specific DNA to know it was not the best option. If it were me, I’d start there. Spending extreme amounts of money to get more information that is “specifically tailored” for us doesn’t mean we will use those highly informative specifics. At the end of the day, you know the foundations of what to eat and what not to eat. What you need help with now is the doing. And that, friend, is what that Potential Podcast episode is about. That’s why journaling to figure out your “why” and what makes you feel good is valuable. You don’t need more information YET. Once you get the foundation of what you already know down (because you don’t need to sequence your DNA to know that it’s not a great nutritional choice to have a breakfast of pop and candy bars every day) you can build on that. But don’t be tricked into thinking spending more money or getting more information will result in more actions taking place.
LADY: So, ditch the soda before sending away my DNA?
GIOSI: I would.
Here’s the point of my theatrics: LADY is a beautiful and intelligent woman. I don’t want to see her waste money or go “all in” on a new-fangled fad diet until she has really honest conversations with herself.
I am NOT knocking DNA diets. I think they could be a great tool when you are at the appropriate place in your health and wellness journey. However, most of us can just start with the basics. Also, knowing the best diet for our DNA doesn’t mean it will be the best diet for our personality, lifestyle, or preferences. I encourage you to take the pressure off. Start more simply. Begin with whole foods, cut processed foods, and eliminate foods high in sugar. Until you start there, getting a list of the exact foods that match best with your genetics doesn’t seem worth the money.
Don’t fall for the traps. This is a long-term process. Take your time, and find that joy.
More details on the first steps to finding the right diet for you can be heard on Potential Podcast. If you’d like more help, check out this FREE WORKSHEET to walk you through self-reflection prompts.