An "Optivore" eats for optimal nutrition. We want it to be yummy AND pack dense nutrition into every calorie to maximally signal the innate healing intelligence of your body. Believe it or not, there is actually robust science about this, and yet it is not what we often hear from sources that are silently backed by producers of processed foods made from grains and animal products. Many people think they are eating "healthy" foods like oatmeal or yogurt which are not actually nutrient dense and can produce unhealthy conditions such as inflammation and excessive acidity? Did you know that products made from animal milk can lead to conditions as diverse as asthma and osteoporosis? If we look at evolutionary biology, we find that humans are the only animals who eat another animal's milk, and the only animals who drink milk after weaning. Could this be contributing to our epidemic of inflammatory diseases/
I like to guide people with independent evidence-based sources. For example, Dean Ornish, MD, has a research-proven program to reverse heart-disease which includes a plant-based diet. Michael Gregor, MD, checks his data on NutritionFacts.org. Joel Furhman, MD, publishes nutritional guides for the average person containing thousands of documented references. Take a look at Dr. Fuhrman's Food Guide to see which foods are closer to 100 (nutrient-packed) vs. <50 (nutrient-lacking). It is not a surprise that kale is 100 but did you know that tomatoes are only 33, and whole wheat bread is a mere 2! What do these and other doctors who do independent research conclude: plant-based nutrition can be anti-inflammatory, detoxifying, lower glycemic index, alkalinizing and anti-aging. Nonetheless, it is still possible to eat as a vegetarian and eat many unhealthy foods. Even the New York Times tells us that the FDA has been inaccurate about some foods it formerly labeled as "healthy.
Are you actually eating healthy? Do your scale, your blood pressure, your cholesterol levels or your hemoglobin A1C support this is true? If you are having to take medications to manage these conditions, or many others (including auto-immune diseases, heart disease, asthma/allergies...) we can conclude that your "healthy" choices are not actually turning on the innate intelligence of your body to keep itself healthy (homeostasis). Rather than making choices based upon a label that says "natural" or "healthy" or "gluten-free", maybe it is time to get personal and find out what really works in YOUR body. There is no "one-size-fits-all" diet, despite what pundits and promoters want you to believe about their personal ideas. And food sensitivity testing may not hold the answers either. Instead of experimenting with what the latest website tells you, try focusing your efforts on a lifestyle designed for the unique you. Functional Medicine is the science-based method of personalizing healthcare. Work with a skilled practitioner with decades of Functional Nutrition experience to actually feed yourself optimally, as an Optivore.