Does your energy level fluctuate during the day? Do you wake up feeling good but fall flat and sluggish after meals? Or, do you wake up lethargic, pep up with coffee, then crash? Are you confused about what you should be eating, or do you have the “perfect” diet, yet you still don’t feel your best?
We are all biochemically different. What one person may thrive on makes someone else feel like crap. This is part of my job: through a detailed intake and health history, I help you figure out exactly how to build meals with the proper amounts of protein, carbohydrate, and fat to help you feel your best. I commonly work with clients who want to be vegans or vegetarians for ethical or health reasons, but their physiology may not support a meatless diet; they require more protein. Maybe their body is recovering from a period of stress, illness, or even hypoglycemia or blood sugar imbalance. They feel lethargic and foggy and grumpy on a meat-free plan. Many, many years ago, I went vegan, subsisting on grains, beans, and soy products and have never felt worse in my life. I lasted a week and remember walking around in a haze for that duration. Many years later in the course of my studies I would I discover that I had a soy allergy and fared better on a virtually grain-free diet of organic meats and veggies.
Long story short, there are 3 basic “metabolic types:” carb, protein, and mixed. Carb types can handle more grains, beans, starchy veggies and little or no meat. Protein types crash on a vegetarian diet and need more protein for fuel, and mixed types fall somewhere in between. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
-Are you always thinking about food? (do you “live to eat?”) Always hungry? Protein type. You crash on a breakfast of oatmeal (high carb food) and feel tired eating a vegetarian diet.
-Do you have to force yourself to eat (“eat to live”) and do well with periods of fasting? Carb type.
-If you’re somewhere in between, you may not feel great on a veg diet but you need less meat than a protein type.
Protein types feel best with mostly meat and low carb veggie (such as leafy greens) based diets with few or no grains. A meal for you might include a serving of roasted salmon with brussels sprouts and a side of cultured vegetables. A mixed type could add brown rice to this, and a carb type could eat lentils, brown rice, and brussels sprouts with little to no salmon and feel great.
Contact our office for a consult if you want to know your type: firstname.lastname@example.org. Figuring out your type will help you hit your ideal weight, improve your digestion & energy level, strengthen your immune system, and function at your best! We will put together a customized meal plan for you to achieve optimal wellness.
Mary Vance is a Certified Nutrition Consultant and author specializing in digestive health. She combines a science-based approach with natural therapies to rebalance the body. In addition to her 1:1 coaching, she offers courses to help you heal your gut and improve your health. Mary lives in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe in Northern California. Read more about her coaching practice here and her background here.
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