When you start delving into the world of health, one thing becomes very apparent.
There are a ton of labels.
Usually described as a way to eat or what to avoid, some of the most popular ones are vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free, wheat-free, paleo, raw, and pescatarian.
Needless to say, there is a lot to figure out, and many people treat these labels as if they were absolute, with no room for flexibility.
And that is exactly why I think Holli Thompson’s approach in her new book – Discover Your Nutritional Style: Your Seasonal Plan to a Healthy, Happy and Delicious Life – works so well.
Her philosophy rests on the importance of figuring out what works for you, regardless of what the label says.
Recently, I caught up with Holli, a certified holistic health coach who has spent a ton of time working with Frank Lipman MD, one of the top doctors in New York City, and wanted to know more.
What is Discover Your Nutritional Style (DYNS) and what motivated you to write this book?
DYNS was written because of my experience working with women and men on their health, healing, and weight loss.
I found so many people were following the diet of their best friends or whatever the latest trend was, without tuning into their own body. As a result, not only were they not dropping the weight they wanted to lose, but they were experiencing issues such as sinus problems, frequent colds, and skin rashes.
Why is it so important that people discover their own nutritional style?
My goal with this book is for readers to make the connection between their food and their health. That awareness is profound and can make the difference between vibrant health and a lifetime of health issues.
I’ve experienced this personally, and I’ve seen people make simple changes based on their new understandings and go on to live a completely different life, free from whatever was ailing them before.
One of the key themes in your book is flexibility. Can you talk about this more as it relates to a person’s diet.
After working with clients on discovering their ideal diet, I saw a pattern. They were trying to live within a nutritional style that was rigid and not working for them.
And what bothered me was that there was guilt associated with them pushing the edges of their diets. If they weren’t eating within the boundaries of what they thought they should be eating, they felt a sense of failure. Guilt and failure have no place around food and diet. It’s food, not religion, and I want women (and men!) to ditch the dogma and defeat that goes along with some popular diets.
So, I created three “flexible” nutritional styles: Healthy Omnivore, Flexible Vegetarian, and Modern Vegan. I find that almost everyone can find their place in one of those categories.
I designed the three styles to allow freedom around your choices and to allow you to create an eating style that works for YOU, and nobody else. Flexibility in your diet is healthy for the body and the mind. So, your nutritional style will give you the space to enjoy all of the foods that are right for you, anytime of year, no matter the diet du jour.
For people who are transitioning to a healthy lifestyle, what are the biggest mistakes that they make?
I see people go too fast, too soon, with changes in their diet. It often backfires.
Your body can’t adjust that quickly. Or, your digestion is unable to keep up with the high amounts of fiber you might be taking in. Take your time and make changes slowly.
If you had to go back to Day 1, when you first took control of your own health, what is the most important piece of information that you wish you had known back then?
I wish I’d known that my style of eating would be my own and nobody else’s.
I was absolutely guilty of jumping on the latest diet research and going at it too fast. I ended up in the ER with a serious gastrointestinal issue due to too much fiber!
So slow it down, listen to your own body, and most importantly love what you eat. That’s living your Nutritional Style. Your body will thank you!
Thanks so much, Holli! Some fantastic advice here!
Holli’s book is incredibly accessible and provides a wealth of great health and lifestyle information.
To purchase Discover Your Nutritional Style, click HERE.