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Confused by best diet????

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

I am wanting to make changes in my diet, but get overwhelmed and confused by the sometimes conflicting information.  I read some wonderful vegan books that for example promote eating bread, but then I will read another like paleo that goes a whole different direction.  I then try eating healthy but I have so much conflicting information in my mind that I don't know what to do.  I get overwhelmed because they all sound good and make sense.  I have a source of local, pasture raised meat so then I think that is good and  once summer is here will have a local market to buy produce.  I worry about breads, flours, oats, and beans.  Seems like I have read somewhere that those aren't super great yet they are all in some really wonderful sounding vegan recipes.  Maybe I have my info mixed up, but how did you decide what you felt was best?  Trial and error? Any suggestions?

 

I really want to make changes and just get so stuck!!

 

TIA

post #2 of 31

Bread and pasta doesn't make sense to me no matter what diet you're on. Both require massive amounts of sugar to make them what they are.. and THAT's not healthy. I'm personally a fan of the Paleo diet. There is a lot of evidence that suggests the ONLY creatures ever designed to eat grains are those with crops in their digestive system. So....birds and insects. Mainly, I find the argument to eat grains giggle-worthy. The skin on fruit actually has much, much, much more fiber than grains ever have. And any nutrient they *might* have is found in other foods. There's nothing special about them, whether you're Paleo or not.

 

Honestly? I'd eliminate all breads and pastas, and see how you feel eating rice, and oatmeal, and such. If you feel icky, start eliminating grains.

 

My son digests rice just fine, as do we all. So we eat rice. Wheat I'm pretty sure turns the poor boy into a bundle of frustrated anxiety, and oats..... go right through him. In a "OMG quick! Get rid of this stuff ASAP!!!" sorta way. Although my MIL argues it's the fiber in them .___.

post #3 of 31
Thread Starter 
Thanks for that starting point. I have been trying to limit my own bread intake but think I was thinking about sooooo many foods that I was overwhelmed. Then I read about lead in rice. Good grief it's always something!!! With my kids, especially my son, paleo might work out better than I thought.
post #4 of 31

I like this saying...

 

Eat food. Mainly plants. Not too much.

 

I like that the powers that be are actually recommending AT LEAST half your plate should be fruits and vegetables. (Though their attachment to starches is probably tradition based on cronyism within the agricultural world.)

 

Probably the greatest change you could make would be to stop buying processed foods. It's a lot of work to cook from scratch (believe me, I know. I make my own broth, tortillas, pizza crusts, etc. Tomorrow I'm making gluten free english muffins in the morning.) But if you can make that one change, the rest may just fall into place. 

 

If you can afford organic, go that way.

 

I've been a vegetarian for ethical reasons since 1984. I raise my own hens so eat their eggs. I wish I could get off the cheese. I don't think dairy is healthy. The only dairy we do is mozzarella for pizza and parmesan as a topping. If I did eat meat I'd make sure it was humanely raised and the animals ate real food and weren't fed/injected with (before or after death) all kinds of chemicals.

 

Our daughter can't eat gluten, dairy, or cane sugar. It's a great diet. We eat healthier now than ever. I don't buy the processed gluten free foods since they are mainly starch and have little fiber. I have learned to cook with almond and coconut flours and love it. http://www.elanaspantry.com/

 

Unless you have a strong motivator like I did (a two year old who never had solid poops in her life,) you may find it more successful to start slow. (Though some people do better jumping in whole hog like I did when I became a vegetarian.) So, start by cooking the foods you like from scratch. Then start exploring the world of recipes out there.

 

How about pizza that has a crust made out of cauliflower and almond flour? http://realsustenance.com/revamped-better-than-ever-cauliflower-pizza-crust-graingluteneggdairysoy-free/

 

Or tortillas made out of mung beans http://spiceandmore.wordpress.com/2009/08/17/an-exciting-discovery/

 

I have tried to eliminate rice from our diet as much as possible. We use a lot of quinoa instead.

 

Another simple change would be to look at the oils you use. I totally stay away from canola. I only use avocado and macadamia oils. Rarely coconut oil for flavor. Olive oil is fine but it doesn't like to get too hot so I just don't buy it. Here's some great info on oils: http://theconsciouslife.com/omega-3-6-9-ratio-cooking-oils.htm

 

As you change your foods, your tastes will change with them. I used to love to get burritos and my favorite part was the last couple inches that were mainly folded tortilla that was just a bit soggy. YUCK. I can't stand that any more. Although I get burritos, the tortillas are so gummy. Oh, and when I was a kid I thought my mom was a great cook. We can't eat each other's food any more.

 

So remember this is a long haul. Don't make too many drastic changes that will derail this. There's the joke that you can tell who's a new vegetarian because all they eat are grilled american cheese sandwiches on white bread or Kraft macaroni and cheese. That's kind of how I started. My kids have always been vegetarian. They love curried bean soup over quinoa. I doubt I would have even considered eating that in 1984.

post #5 of 31

Wow I was verbose.

post #6 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by EchoSoul View Post

Bread and pasta doesn't make sense to me no matter what diet you're on. Both require massive amounts of sugar to make them what they are.. and THAT's not healthy. 

What do you mean by this? Bread and pasta shouldn't contain any sugar at all (unless the person making the bread has added sugar to it, but that certainly isn't necessary). The dominant nutrient in these foods is starch. It does break down into sugar, which is a good thing, because that is what our bodies use for energy!

 

OP, I follow a low-fat, whole foods, plant-based way of eating which is based on lots of healthy whole-grain starches and fruits and veggies. I have done a lot of research and I believe that there is a ton of evidence in support of this way of eating. Bread and pasta are perfectly healthy if they are 100% whole grain and don't contain any strange ingredients (best to make your own bread as supermarket bread is full of oil, preservatives, and other junk). Personally I believe that eating meat is detrimental to one's health but, if you are going to eat it, then locally produced and pasture-raised would be the best/least bad option. By the way, if  you don't want to eat whole-grain flour products like bread or pasta then there is absolutely no need to. It's your choice! I even know of people eating a starch-based vegan diet who eat no grains or seeds (they eat potatoes and sweet potatoes and such as staple foods). 

 

Also, since you mentioned vegan recipes, a lot of vegans eat a really unhealthy diet! If you are interested in healthy vegan recipes, I recommend looking at Dr. McDougall, Eat to Live, and the Engine 2 diet. Vegan doesn't automatically mean healthy, so, if your goal is health, then it's important to look at vegan resources that are actually intended to promote health. Good luck with your search!

post #7 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonesiesGirl View Post

What do you mean by this? Bread and pasta shouldn't contain any sugar at all (unless the person making the bread has added sugar to it, but that certainly isn't necessary). The dominant nutrient in these foods is starch. It does break down into sugar, which is a good thing, because that is what our bodies use for energy!

 

OP, I follow a low-fat, whole foods, plant-based way of eating which is based on lots of healthy whole-grain starches and fruits and veggies. I have done a lot of research and I believe that there is a ton of evidence in support of this way of eating. Bread and pasta are perfectly healthy if they are 100% whole grain and don't contain any strange ingredients (best to make your own bread as supermarket bread is full of oil, preservatives, and other junk). Personally I believe that eating meat is detrimental to one's health but, if you are going to eat it, then locally produced and pasture-raised would be the best/least bad option. By the way, if  you don't want to eat whole-grain flour products like bread or pasta then there is absolutely no need to. It's your choice! I even know of people eating a starch-based vegan diet who eat no grains or seeds (they eat potatoes and sweet potatoes and such as staple foods). 

 

Also, since you mentioned vegan recipes, a lot of vegans eat a really unhealthy diet! If you are interested in healthy vegan recipes, I recommend looking at Dr. McDougall, Eat to Live, and the Engine 2 diet. Vegan doesn't automatically mean healthy, so, if your goal is health, then it's important to look at vegan resources that are actually intended to promote health. Good luck with your search!


This comes from heavy research I've done. In which saturated fats and cholesterol are actually what humans NEED to thrive, and have been demonized because one guy suggested it. There are plenty of books out there with awesome resources which state grains are the cause to the health issues which plague Americans including Altheizmers and gall bladder diseases. Humans actually NEED meat fats and cholesterol, despite what doctors will have you believe.

 

Beyond that, any bread and pasta I've come across, uses a ton of sugar in it to bind the ingredients together. I apologize if I'm wrong about that. But I still find them completely useless.

 

I usually explain it like this to people: Look outside, see all that grass? Does that even LOOK yummy to you? Because that's all grains are... seeds of grass.

post #8 of 31
Thread Starter 

Wow!!!  I'm loving this information!!  It also helps me sort out the confusion in my head because there are conflicting opinions.  I am wanting to eat healthy.  I'm prolly 3-4 pounds heavier than I'd like so it isn't a weight loss issue.  Right now my poor kids see us go through phases where we eat healthier or I change how I eat and then they don't finish a taquito (and oops I devour it!!!!).  The kids have always been great with fruits for breakfast and snacks throughout the day.  They like brocolli, cauliflower, and carrots which we have often but they like it with ranch dip.  I guess i need to look to an alternative for that.

 

Really I would like to move away from my dairy love.  I have read about nutritional yeast to give that taste, but then of course I have read things that don't sound great about that either.

I also know I feel and look bloated after I eat bread and that doesn't seem good. I'm really thinking it'd be best for us to steer clear of whole wheat bread.  Bread is tough for us because has been such a staple for us-sandwiches (endless possibilities), toast, etc.  Again I would like to find some alternatives especially for those quick and yummy sandwiches.

 

I like the idea of fish and what I have read about it, as part of a dinner meal.  Dinner meals may be the hardest for me.  We like to snack a lot through the day so that makes veggies and fruit super easy to sell, but again dinner is going to be the kicker.  I'm also a single working mom which limits my time at home, but l work at school and will be off for the summer so maybe I can streamline what I learn to get me geared up for next school year.  

 

I really appreciate the advice and thus, support!!  Even the conflicting opinions are wonderful because it puts so much information out there!!  Thanks ladies, keep em coming!!!!

post #9 of 31

Instead of sandwiches we gave our daughter almond butter on rice cakes. (Don't make them in advance, they get soggy. We throw the ingredients in an ice chest and make them on the spot.) Then the news on rice so now I've found non-gmo corn cakes. I wanted her to have almond butter on pancakes (I make them out of coconut flour) but she refuses to try them. Maybe someday. Especially if I "run out" of corn cakes. My kids are so much more adaptable when we run out of their favorites.

 

I told my husband about this thread and all the conflicting opinions. He said trying to find "THE" healthy diet is like chasing a paper cup. I agree. So, "Eat food. Mainly plants. Not too much."

post #10 of 31

All starch is sugar, just ask a diabetic.  I have one handy, my husband.  We really try to eat paleo, very low carb.  He does wonderfully.  We eat plenty of fats for our bodies to burn.  His doctor has been so happy with his health, his cholesterol is pretty good (180), so we don't worry at all about that.

 

When we eat grains his blood sugars are never stable, even when he tests and takes the insulin he's supposed to.  It was very eye opening for me to see him go through that and realize that those highs and lows and massive amounts of insulin were happening in my body, too.

 

We used to be vegan, but it caused a lot of health problems for me: extreme brain fog, aching joints, speech problems, anxiety and depression.  I was a good vegan, I ate whole food prepared at home and took all the right supplements.  Veganism and vegetarianism didn't work for me.

 

That's my two cents.

post #11 of 31
Thread Starter 

Thanks SundayCrepes for the recipe links.  I was saw some great recipes and now need to decide where to buy some almond flour, that looks like it would help me transition to have some things we could still bake.  At least now, I feel like I have better direction and realize that I am not the only one who sees the conflicting information from different sources.

 

I think we are going to stick with the meat source we have that is grown on my property, so I know it!!  Eggs from a local source. Almond milk off and on to see if I can ever get the kids to transition. I'd like to use less wheat and dairy products so am hoping to find some good substitutions, like spaghetti squash, figs for sweetener,  which we like.  My goal today when I go shopping is to bring home plenty of veggies and fruit (we have locally grown meat in the freezer and deer) and healthier alternatives to things I know we like to see if that could help.  It's a start and doesn't make my head spin thinking about it!!!lol

post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by EchoSoul View Post

Bread and pasta doesn't make sense to me no matter what diet you're on. Both require massive amounts of sugar to make them what they are.. and THAT's not healthy. I'm personally a fan of the Paleo diet. There is a lot of evidence that suggests the ONLY creatures ever designed to eat grains are those with crops in their digestive system. So....birds and insects. Mainly, I find the argument to eat grains giggle-worthy. The skin on fruit actually has much, much, much more fiber than grains ever have. And any nutrient they *might* have is found in other foods. There's nothing special about them, whether you're Paleo or not.

Honestly? I'd eliminate all breads and pastas, and see how you feel eating rice, and oatmeal, and such. If you feel icky, start eliminating grains.

My son digests rice just fine, as do we all. So we eat rice. Wheat I'm pretty sure turns the poor boy into a bundle of frustrated anxiety, and oats..... go right through him. In a "OMG quick! Get rid of this stuff ASAP!!!" sorta way. Although my MIL argues it's the fiber in them .___.


I am confused. Pasta doesn't have sugar added. And rice and oats are grains. And fruits and vegetables are much better sources of fiber than grains. Naturally, any food that causes a problem should be avoided, but there seems to be a bit of misinformation here. Or did I read this wrong?
post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by momma,mia View Post

Thanks SundayCrepes for the recipe links.  I was saw some great recipes and now need to decide where to buy some almond flour, that looks like it would help me transition to have some things we could still bake.  At least now, I feel like I have better direction and realize that I am not the only one who sees the conflicting information from different sources.

 

I think we are going to stick with the meat source we have that is grown on my property, so I know it!!  Eggs from a local source. Almond milk off and on to see if I can ever get the kids to transition. I'd like to use less wheat and dairy products so am hoping to find some good substitutions, like spaghetti squash, figs for sweetener,  which we like.  My goal today when I go shopping is to bring home plenty of veggies and fruit (we have locally grown meat in the freezer and deer) and healthier alternatives to things I know we like to see if that could help.  It's a start and doesn't make my head spin thinking about it!!!lol

 

When I was first researching blanched almond flour I found honeyville grain to be the cheapest. http://store.honeyvillegrain.com/search.aspx?find=almond+flour#.UX0yybXvvwk

 

You can now buy 5 pound bags of it at amazon and save shipping. http://www.amazon.com/Blanched-Almond-Meal-Flour-lb/dp/B0006ZN538/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1367160012&sr=8-1&keywords=almond+flour

Still, it's pretty expensive if they're not running a sale so I tried various recipes using the almond meal from Trader Joe's. It's only $4 a pound. Many work, they're texture is just a bit grainier, some just don't work with almond meal. Recently honeyville had a 20% off sale. I bought 25 pounds of almond flour and it came out to about the same price as TJ's almond meal. It's all in my freezer so it will last until I can use it all.

 

Regarding transitioning to almond milk. I didn't tell my son we were doing that. I saved some milk cartons then bought half the normal amount of cow's milk and the same amount of almond milk. I used the old milk containers and split the cow's milk and almond milk between them so they were half cow's milk and half almond milk. The next week they were 1/3 cow's milk 2/3 almond milk. The next week 1/4 cow's 3/4 almond. Then full almond milk. I kept putting the almond milk into cow's milk containers for a few weeks then got tired of it. He did stop drinking milk with dinner, but he's fine with it on his cereal. And, of course, I cook with it. I'd rather be upfront with him, but we were making dietary changes to see if it would effect his behavior. (Getting rid of the gluten made a HUGE change. I like him again.) If we had talked with him in advance it would have been horrible. When we did tell him he wasn't happy, but he also dealt with it appropriately.

 

And, yes, a start that doesn't make your head spin is the perfect diet. You can make that work much better than something extremist that overwhelms then dies away.

 

This is our absolute favorite cake these days. I use 375 grams of oranges. It comes out fine with TJ almond meal. http://www.elanaspantry.com/orange-cake/ Also, 20 minutes into the baking process I cover the pans with aluminum foil. If I make a single batch we have a double layer cake. If I make a double batch we have three layers. It's very moist. I put chocolate frosting. http://www.elanaspantry.com/vegan-chocolate-frosting/ I don't use grapeseed oil, too many omega 6's. I use macadamia oil http://www.amazon.com/Now-Foods-Organic-Macadamia-16-Ounce/dp/B0014M1VR4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1367160371&sr=8-1&keywords=macadamia+oil+now

post #14 of 31

Does your family like hot breakfast cereals? I've been eating quinoa flakes. They have a bit of an after taste, but if you add honey (I use raw, local honey) the after taste goes away. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001JJXDSC/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i01?ie=UTF8&psc=1 They cost $6 to $7 here so amazon has a good price.

post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post


I am confused. Pasta doesn't have sugar added. And rice and oats are grains. And fruits and vegetables are much better sources of fiber than grains. Naturally, any food that causes a problem should be avoided, but there seems to be a bit of misinformation here. Or did I read this wrong?


Rice is considered one of those grains you *can* give on if you're Paleo, because it doesn't seem to cause nearly as many problems that all the other grains too. I feed my son oatmeal once in a while because we're living with my in-laws, and can't do Paleo *right now*, because we can't afford it, but know that is the diet we will be venturing into when we have our own place. So I feed my son oatmeal, because I'm still trying to reduce his gliuten intake as much as possible, and oatmeal is mildly contaminated with gluten because it's processed with wheat. Plain oatmeal his body does "okay" with, but any of the flavors his body wants rid of instantly. Oatmeal is still bad, and I would avoid it much like wheat like the plague when we have our own place and can do the Paleo diet, but it's the grain I give on while we're here with my in-laws. That make more sense?

post #16 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by EchoSoul View Post


Rice is considered one of those grains you *can* give on if you're Paleo, because it doesn't seem to cause nearly as many problems that all the other grains too. I feed my son oatmeal once in a while because we're living with my in-laws, and can't do Paleo *right now*, because we can't afford it, but know that is the diet we will be venturing into when we have our own place. So I feed my son oatmeal, because I'm still trying to reduce his gliuten intake as much as possible, and oatmeal is mildly contaminated with gluten because it's processed with wheat. Plain oatmeal his body does "okay" with, but any of the flavors his body wants rid of instantly. Oatmeal is still bad, and I would avoid it much like wheat like the plague when we have our own place and can do the Paleo diet, but it's the grain I give on while we're here with my in-laws. That make more sense?

Yep. Now I understand. Thanks.
post #17 of 31

I think a great place to start is to look at things like the following documentary  which you can currently view for free on line here:

http://viooz.co/movies/15267-in-search-of-the-perfect-human-diet-2012.html

 

There are others who advocate a more vegetarian based diet - such as forks over knives .  Having been a vegetarian and vegan - I found my health deterioated on these types of diet due to lack of saturated fats and proteins, even though I was eating the proper foods and macros.  I'm still in the process of recovering my health from eating this way well over 13years ago. 

 

Another great documentary to look at is FatHead  

 

I also really like Loren Cordain's books, Mark Sission's Books, Dr Jack Kruse's book and Dr William Davis's books. I'm firmly in the Primal/Paleo camp, but it took me a long journey to end up there in an effort to reverse disease and deal with debilitating migraines. 

 

Eating is a personal decision. you've got to make that decision based up on the information you've read and seen. 

 

You need Fat, specifically Saturated fat to build your hormones.  

 

And FWIW the conventional wisdom about Cholesterol has been disproven in random clinical trials several times since the late 1950s, the american heart association however refusese to accept those studies, as they'd have been wrong for close to 60years (can't have a medical assn being wrong now can we) 

Additionally Big PHarma and the Big Ag companies are making $$$ of you eating whole grains - which cause diseases in which you need medications to treat the diseases... its a perpetual cycle that we can break if we choose too. 

 

just my 2cents

post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by shijin13 View Post

I think a great place to start is to look at things like the following documentary  which you can currently view for free on line here:

http://viooz.co/movies/15267-in-search-of-the-perfect-human-diet-2012.html

 

There are others who advocate a more vegetarian based diet - such as forks over knives .  Having been a vegetarian and vegan - I found my health deterioated on these types of diet due to lack of saturated fats and proteins, even though I was eating the proper foods and macros.  I'm still in the process of recovering my health from eating this way well over 13years ago. 

 

Another great documentary to look at is FatHead  

 

I also really like Loren Cordain's books, Mark Sission's Books, Dr Jack Kruse's book and Dr William Davis's books. I'm firmly in the Primal/Paleo camp, but it took me a long journey to end up there in an effort to reverse disease and deal with debilitating migraines. 

 

Eating is a personal decision. you've got to make that decision based up on the information you've read and seen. 

 

You need Fat, specifically Saturated fat to build your hormones.  

 

And FWIW the conventional wisdom about Cholesterol has been disproven in random clinical trials several times since the late 1950s, the american heart association however refusese to accept those studies, as they'd have been wrong for close to 60years (can't have a medical assn being wrong now can we) 

Additionally Big PHarma and the Big Ag companies are making $$$ of you eating whole grains - which cause diseases in which you need medications to treat the diseases... its a perpetual cycle that we can break if we choose too. 

 

just my 2cents


Absolutely 100% agreed. I also wanted to throw in... the whole deal about cholesterol is additionally bogus, because your cholesterol levels normally rise and fall every day. Kinda like how your weight fluctuates throughout the day depending on the time of day. Also, if your body feels its cholesterol is too high, it will lower it itself, and the same applies if your body feels its cholesterol is too low. It keeps it in balance right where it needs to be, on its own. There is significant evidence that a diet too low in saturated fats and cholesterol causes Altheizmers, because the brain NEEDS those fats to build itself up. Altheizmers is a running trend in my family. So is shaving the fat off of meats. So is eating a lot of grains. And listening to doctors about diet who are told what to tell their patients without doing their own research. Or doing biased researched. My grandmother had Altheizmers, my great uncle got diagnosed with it shortly before passing, and my uncle recently got diagnosed with it. All followed "the doctor's orders" to the T.

 

But, hypothetically, let's say there were no books, or videos, or web pages to read about diet. What do you do? Honestly, I consult my 2 year old son. I figure, if you want a true, unbiased source for proper human diet, consult a child who's not been tainted by what to eat, and what not to eat. That said, my son loves plain meats, raw cheese(he won't touch grocery store block cheese with a 10-foot-pole) fruits, and root vegetables. He thinks plant greens are fun.... to stick into crevices. And honestly, I've never seen the point to humans eating plant greens. It doesn't fill you up. Meat fills you up, and fruits provide additional moisture and vitamins and minerals. I'll eat whole carrots, and strawberries, with everything still attached, but that's as far as I feel I should naturally eat greens. I'm not denying their medicinal purposes - at all - I think they definitely have a time and place. But on a day-to-day basis, I don't understand it.

post #19 of 31
I agree about needing fats and especially omega 3 fatty acids. About eating greens, though, I disagree. I think you should eat what you like and makes you feel good. Listen to your own body. Each person is unique, and each body may process foods differently. High protein, low carb may make one person feel great, but another lousy. I function best with lots of carbs. Whole grains are fine -- in moderation. I eat pasta or potatoes daily. That works well for me. Think back to what foods make you feel clear of mind and energized. That's what to eat.
post #20 of 31

When you sift through all of the dietary theory and all of the research (I did a butt-load of it), a baseline of agreed upon wisdom appears.  And you will notice that these guidelines pretty much overlap most eating plans/diets “out there”.  The things I find that they have in common:

 

  • Heavy emphasis on vegetables/vegetables being the bulk of your food intake–in all colors.
  • Water as the main beverage if not the only beverage.
  • Eating foods that are as whole and unprocessed as possible–striving to eating only foods without a label 
  • Eating only until you’re satisfied–not full.
  • Some amount of daily movement (20-minute walk)
  • Appropriate amounts of sleep (7-9 hours, more if your body needs it)

 

Beyond that, it does vary wildly and with varying results depending on your personal state of health, your body’s biochemistry, and what you are trying to achieve.  Research supports all of the points above, and truly, implementing all of the above alone would have you in better health and losing weight if you are overweight… without counting calories.

 

So if you’re looking for an eating plan, start with those.  Once you have those guidelines fully integrated into your life, your baseline is set.  Once you are there, you will better be able to identify problems–especially problems caused by foods--and "listen" to your body for further guidance.  Granted, if you have a problem (gut dysbiosis or some health condition) you may need to do more trial and error than listening.  But try listening first.

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