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Part 3: Intuitive eating and Dr. Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet

Alex Jamieson’s latest article I’m not vegan anymore is a beautiful example of how our bodies talk through food cravings and deserve to be met with love and responsibility.

Alex and her husband Morgan Spurlock became public figures through their 2004 hit food documentary Super Size Me. A few years ago, after 13 years of being vegan, Alex started to crave animal foods, went through denial and eventually embraced a sustainable diet that honours her needs, the animals and our earth.

Her story highlights the value of knowing about different diets (see my last post) just so you can tune into what your body might be asking for. For the final post in this three-part series, take a look at Dr. Andrew Weil’s easy to follow anti-inflammatory diet and food pyramid.

I think his model is nutritionally balanced but I’ve found myself intuitively following more of the paleo diet (or pseudo-paleo diet as local vegan author Vesanto Melina would say). I’ve chosen to limit my grain intake and all dairy is off except for my favourite ghee/butter on toast, which keeps me hopeful in life – you know what I mean?

Anti-Inflammatory Diet and Pyramid

Dr. Andew Weil, well-known for his holistic approach to medicine, says that illness is often a result of systemic inflammation and can be alleviated with the right diet.

His food pyramid offers an excellent illustration of the foods that make up an anti-inflammatory diet. The program recommends a variety of organic fresh foods with a heavy focus on fruits and vegetables. Animal protein is limited except for fish and high quality natural cheese and yogurt.

Interestingly, Dr. Weil encourages free intake of cooked asian mushrooms like shiitake, enokidake and oyster mushrooms while button mushrooms should be minimized. Asian mushrooms are emerging super foods that enhance immune function.

Healthy sweets should be sparingly consumed – like an ounce of dark chocolate a few times a week.

Processed and fast foods should be avoided, of course, including foods with wheat flour and sugar, especially bread and most packaged snack foods.

Pros: Easy to follow. Boosts physical and mental health, provides a steady supply of energy, and reduces the risk of age-related diseases.

Cons: As with all nutrition-conscious diets, the emphasis is on fresh, home-based cooking which takes time, research, creativity and financial resources. It is all well-worth it in order to love yourselves and truly enjoy your food.

Research sources: Anti-Inflammatory Diet and Pyramid

Anti-Inflammatory Diet: What You Need To Know

Coming up

I’ve been tooling around town lately to check out smart foodie stores, foods and restaurants. There’s so much to share so keep your eyes peeled for my recommendations in each category over the next few weeks.

Feature image credit: Alive Magazine

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