Bio-individuality

Last week I got a text from one of my college girlfriends: 

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GIRL, I HEAR YOU!

If you’ve done any sort of exploration into health and wellness you’ve probably experienced a similar sense of frustration and confusion. Whether the info comes from celebrities, friends or well known doctors, it feels like everyone is preaching a little something different when it comes to food, body and health.

While there are definitely some healthy basics MOST plans agree on (drink more water, eat more vegetables, get plenty of movement and find ways to manage your stress), the specifics vary quite a lot. And if you haven’t found the magical combination that works for you yet, it can all feel confusing and honestly overwhelming.

  • The Medical Medium swears by celery juice + high fruit diet

  • Beyonce and Jay Z went vegan and never felt better

  • But my best friend is trying out intermittent fasting and keto and has lost 14 pounds already (while eating bacon and butter!) 

  • Should I be concerned about food combining? What even is food combining?

Of all the experts and opinions, who do you listen to?

My answer might surprise you (or maybe it won’t at all if you’ve been reading some of my more recent blogs).

The best person to listen to is YOU.

I wrote back to my friend:

   Photo by Seana Pasic

Bio-individuality was one of the first principles I learned during my health coach training at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). At the time, I was {mostly} vegan and eating a lot of raw foods, mainly as a result of watching some very convincing documentaries and following health bloggers.

But even though so much I was seeing on those films and reading on those blogs told me THIS WAS THE WAY TO OPTIMAL HEALTH AND HAPPINESS, in my gut I was questioning if this was the diet for me. While some of my digestive issues felt better, I was still experiencing a lot of bloating and really strange skin issues (random rashes that would flare up on my neck and back). And more than anything else, the diet didn't feel like it fit my life.

Wait, so what is bio-individuality?

Bio-individuality means that no one diet works for everyone. Each and every person has unique needs.

Just like we all have different styles in fashion, music and movies, we also intuitively understand, on a very deep level, that one person's perfect food is another person's poison. 

Learning this concept at IIN completely changed the way I looked at food, and ultimately, how I coach and teach, not just about food but about everything.

There is no one size fits all when it comes to health.

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A vegan diet may be great for your sister, but makes you feel bloated and hangry. Your BFF may have trouble with gluten and dairy, but when you’re honest about it, they seem to work just fine for you (lucky you!). You may run fine without grains, but your hubby NEEDS them at every meal.

We’re all different, and that’s okay.

During my studies at IIN, I learned over 100 different dietary theories (yes, there are over 100 different diets out there that are popular enough to be taught at the world’s largest nutrition school).

When a client (or, in this case, a friend) comes to me feeling overwhelmed with the wellness world and confused about how to eat, I don’t automatically put them on any one diet. Instead we work together to figure out what balance works best for their body, and their LIFE. Maybe that’s ketogenic or raw or Ayurvedic, or maybe it’s a combination of all three of these.

My ultimate goal when working with clients 1:1 is to provide them with the tools and support they need to listen to their own intuitive food voice. To find their version of a balanced diet. And to have practices for checking in with themselves so that their plan can adapt to life as it changes over time.

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Whether you’re feeling lost when it comes to food, or are simply looking to further improve your personal choices, here’s an exercise you can do today: 

Take out a blank piece of paper and write down the following questions:

What’s ONE thing I’m currently eating or doing that I know makes me feel amazing?

What’s ONE thing I’m currently eating or doing that I know doesn’t serve me?

Take a few minutes to write out your answers to each of these questions. If you’re feeling stumped, that’s okay! Sit with it a little longer, or maybe come back to it when you have a bit more time to think it over.



From my experience, most of us know what we need to be doing more or less of, but often that intuition gets drowned out by other people’s opinions, or simply the busy-ness of our day-to-day lives.



It doesn't matter how many years of work you've done with food and body - there's always going to be something that could shift. Our bodies, lives and circumstances change and therefore our habits must change too.



So right in this moment: what's your ONE thing that you know needs to change? And how can you (lovingly, compassionately) support yourself in making that change?

Write this down for yourself, or better yet, leave a comment below and let me know.

Want more support with this? I have one coaching spot opening up in November. If you're looking to dive deeper into your intuitive food voice and strengthen your self-care practices, click here to apply to work with me 1:1. Even if you're not sure if coaching is for you right now, the application is a great exercise in reflection and getting clear on your own goals.