Today, I'm excited to have my FIRST guest post on the blog from Nick Kowalski, who is FULL of health knowledge. He is especially an expert on the not-so-commonly known health topics, which I love! Nick and I crossed paths via social media, and I find that I am always learning something new from his posts on Instagram. I'm very happy to have him share with you today his TOP health-food choices, plus you will gain A LOT of insight on other various health topics from this read. So here it is, from Nick:
How To Choose The Best Diet (Plus My Personal Diet)
When it comes to food – I’m talking real, wholesome food – there isn’t too much that I would turn down. If you didn’t know me, perhaps you would think I am a picky eater. If you do know me, you’d understand that really, I love all food, the thing is a lot of the food today isn’t really food anymore.
For example, I do not mess with bananas. Why? Because nearly all bananas are not even bananas anymore – they are banana lookalikes that are grown from a tissue culture in a lab.
The huge bananas we see in the market are so far removed rom their original species that it’s not even really the same food anymore, though it looks perfectly edible. This is true for a great majority of fruit and is one of the main reasons I don’t eat much fruit in general.
The No-Diet, Diet
That being said, when it comes to my top picks for food and why, the number one rule is that it is authentic, real food. From there, I like to eat intuitively and according to my bodies needs. I stick to a Metabolic Typing regime for the most part as it makes the most sense for me.
For those of you who do not know what Metabolic Typing is, be sure to check out the book Metabolic Typing or How To Eat, Move and Be Healthy. In a nutshell, MT is an eating regime without dietary limitations; it is what I call the No-Diet, Diet.
When I go to eat, I set aside any nutritional dogma and ask myself “what does my body truly need to feel it’s best right now?” The answer is almost always different as each day and experience brings a new demand on my metabolic system.
For example, if I didn’t sleep well one night I am going to have different fuel requirements than if I were to sleep a full 9 hours, then play 2 hours of volleyball.
Many things affect our metabolism, such as exercise, sleep, stress, emotions, environment and even thoughts. Depending on what’s going on in Nick World, I make eating decisions accordingly.
Another thing that MT addresses aside from what I just mentioned is heritage, age and gender. These things influence our hormones, which influence our digestive system and the way we metabolize food.
A simple questionnaire can determine your Metabolic Type and you will end up one of the three generally – a protein type, carb type or a mixed type.
I, myself, am a strong protein type. This is influenced strongly by my heritage, genetics and endless of other factors. I am very physically active and when not, do not feel very well. This requires for me to consume a moderate amount of protein and minimal carbs. I actually eat up to 70% fat, 25% protein and 5% or less carbs. My body does not like carbs and when I went vegan a few times in my life for years, I got very sick. Despite me learning all the raving benefits of being vegan, it simply wasn’t working.
My Top Health-Food Choices
I want you to know that above all else, when making a choice for your food, digestion and metabolism are precedent. You are not what you eat, you are what you digest, assimilate and absorb. If you are eating the most nutritious food on the planet and do not digest it, it doesn’t matter.
That being said, I do have some personal favorite foods that make me feel my best. Over the years of experimentation, incredible research and some honest reflection, I finally discovered what worked for me:
Quality animal protein- That’s right, meat. Now here’s the thing, I don’t eat a lot of meat at all, about 3-4 oz. in a meal once, maybe twice a week. The thing is though, if I don’t have some animal protein, my hormones go on the fritz. Why? Because my body is designed to consume animal protein. In fact, so are a lot of other peoples and they are wreaking havoc on their bodies by trying to be economical and spiritual by going vegan. My suggestion, do no harm to others, but also do no harm to yourself. Long term veganism is not only harmful for the hormonal system, can lead to major deficiencies in vitamin K2, D and A (all only found bioavailable in animal foods) but it’s destructive to the environment. Despite what people are led to believe, eating meat is not cruel or economical. In fact, even the microorganisms that grow flowers are carnivorous. They eat the bacteria lower on the food chain in order to produce the minerals in the soil for the plants to grow. I say this because I know someone will read this and form a holier-than-thou opinion; just look to nature for the truth. Additionally, I eat only from organic, pastured, local or biodynamic sources of animal protein. These foods support the life of myself, others and the greater good (circle of life).
Wild foods- If you are a nutritionist or getting advice about nutrition and there is no talk of wild foods, the whole picture is being over looked. Wild foods not only pack more nutrition per ounce than any store-bought, farmed food, they are the most ethical and honest means to food we have left. Wild greens like dandelion, nettle, plantain, lambs quarters and more have taproots that grow up to 100 feet deep. This is what makes them survivors and why you see them growing in the most harsh conditions. If you want to be a survivor, eat survivor foods. These plant foods are sucking up nourishment deep from the source of Earth where there are still minerals left. They are higher in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, omega-3 and nearly every other nutrient than any other food. Wild animal food goes into this category as well. One of the most ethical, humane and healthy ways to consume your animal products would be to hunt it yourself. 1 deer will last an entire year feeding a small family. Yet, people buy bananas in bulk each week that contributes to the destruction of the Rain Forest and human trafficking. Quite the eye-opener. Wild foods are a regular part of my diet. I harvest things in my local neighborhood a few times a week. Because of my location I have access to something I didn’t have access to when living in California. My favorite wild foods I am consuming these days are local fruits; apples and pears are in season now, but berry season just ended where I was harvesting mulberries, raspberries, juneberries and currants. I also am getting tons of dandelions. The whole plant is edible, the leaves cleanse the liver and are prebiotic, the roots clean the liver and kidneys and taste like coffee when roasted, and the flower is the highest source of lecithin, a fat emulsifier. You can add wild foods to green smoothies, salads and most dishes. I just harvested a bunch of common milkweed pods from up north. These guys taste like a mix of a cucumber and carrot. Best of all, wild foods are free!
Probiotic Foods- We are 9:1 bacteria cells to human cells. Yes, you are more bacteria than you are human. The real secret to anti-aging (in a physical sense) is maintaining the integrity of our bacterial balance. There are two types of bacteria really, opportunistic (deadly) bacteria and probiotic (life promoting) bacteria. All aging really is, is decay. To slow or halt this aging process, we need to minimize the amount of opportunistic microorganisms in our body and maximize the amount of probiotics. We’ve almost all heard about probiotics by now, but they still remain quite a mystery. One of the things a lot of people don’t understand is that the best way to get healthy probiotics in the body is not from a supplement. They come from living, naturally. Spending time outside in the dirt is actually a great way to get more healthy bacteria on your body and boost your immune system. Since probiotics are not just in our guts, they cover our whole bodies; we want to consider all the possibilities. Sticking to the subject of food for now, probiotic foods are actually the superior means to getting in enough beneficial bacteria. This is because probiotic foods have the most ideal strains of bacteria and yeast. These strains are native to the human gut, which is important for their survival once in the body. Additionally, probiotic foods provide a protective matrix for the bugs to survive once passing through the harsh environment of the digestive system. Stomach acid is stronger than battery acid; oftentimes probiotic pills are destroyed by the time they reach the stomach. For the past 6-7 years I’ve been making my own probiotic foods like coconut kefir, kefir water, raw milk kefir, coconut yogurt and sauerkraut. I’ve consumed these foods daily and attribute a lot of my well-being to these foods. Not only are they healing in the nutritional sense, they are so much fun to make and bring out a creative power in me that is so life enhancing! I definitely recommend learning to make some probiotic foods – I actually offer an online course tutorial for anyone interested, just visit my blog. At the least, try a kombucha at a health food store, they are not as strong as homemade but it will introduce you to the probiotic power.
Nick Kowalski is a free-spirited creator of life who plays Transformation Coach, fitness model and blogger part-time, while spending the rest of his time creating healthy recipes and adventuring through Mother Nature. He shares his message of authenticity, wellness and playfulness via Instagram and his writings. For more fun-loving ways for healthy living, be sure to follow him on Instagram @NicksFit.