Have you ever noticed that a diet that works for one person doesn’t always work the same way for another? For example, your co-worker might have lost 10 pounds and increased her energy by leaps and bounds after she went vegan, but the opposite was true for you: you felt tired, sluggish and bloated. This defines an Integrative Nutrition core concept called bio-individuality.
Bio-individuality means that every body is different and there is no one-size-fits-all diet. Different people thrive on different diets and lifestyle choices. For example, I feel really great when I eat a warm, vegetarian meal for dinner – probably something with roasted root vegetables and quinoa. However, my best friend loves having a big, raw salad. For this reason, Integrative Nutrition provides students with information on over 100 different dietary theories. This helps students determine which foods make them feel great as well as provide their clients with ample information to help them determine their preferred eating style.
Though everyone has different nutritional needs and preferences, no one should miss out on any major type of nutrient. Protein in particular is a constant source of debate for those who feel that non-meat eaters do not get as much protein as their carnivorous friends. However, a protein rich diet can be achieved no matter your dietary preference!
Vegan - If you are a vegan, your diet should be full of plant-based proteins. Nuts, seeds, and legumes are all an excellent source of protein. Try to incorporate quinoa, lentils, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and chia seeds for protein without eating animal products. A great protein-rich breakfast may be cooked quinoa with warm almond milk, almond butter, chia seeds, and a handful of berries on top.
Vegetarian - Protein sources for vegetarians are much the same as they are for vegans, except you can add dairy and eggs to your diet. You may choose to have Greek yogurt in place of the quinoa for breakfast, or even a couple of scrambled eggs!
Raw - Including protein in your diet is probably trickiest if you are a raw foodist, but it is certainly not impossible! Raw nuts and nut butters are an excellent choice, as well as some seeds that you can eat raw like chia. A smoothie with greens, coconut water, nut butter, chia seeds and frozen fruit is a great way to get some raw protein.
Prefer Warm Foods – A lot of people find that they don’t want to cut out meat or dairy and prefer to eat their meals warm. This may be because their body has a hard time digesting raw, cold foods. If this sounds like you, try incorporating meat like chicken or beef into hearty dishes like vegetable stew.
Prefer Cool Foods – For every person that prefers warm food, there is another person that prefers cool. If this is you, and you would rather eat a big salad or a sandwich for lunch instead of soup, try using cooked, cold meats and animal products. For example add sliced chicken breast to your sandwich or a hard boiled egg to your salad.
What is your preferred way of eating and how do you include protein in your diet?