Nature used to be both the field and the fence that contained our food choices.
We used to be limited to a small, defined set of foods, based on nature's built-in limitations: things like season, selection, local/native species, climate, yield, geography, weather, spoilage, proximity + ease of access. But we've found a way to subvert nature with an unlimited smorgasboard of "food" options that extend beyond what nature can + does inherently provide.
And we've "grown" all sorts of new problems when it comes to food, health, nutrition + eating ever since. We can choose any food we want, most any time we want, in any volume/balance we so desire.
We might still be carrying around some old, false diet doctrines that are sabotaging our health... or maybe our food confusion sounds more like this:
How many few/many carbs should we eat? How few/many fats should we eat? What fats/oils are safe? How much protein should we be eating? Should we fast -- how often and how long? Breakfast or skip? Snack before bed? What about juice cleanses, bone broth fasts and getting into ketosis? What's the deal with whole eggs? Does the ratio of carbs/protein/fat matter? Which herbs will help speed up our metabolism and thyroid? How much coffee + chocolate is ok? Should we go Paleo, Primal, Vegan or Vegetarian? How much sugar, gluten, dairy, soy, nuts, eggs, potatoes, beans, rice, meat can/should we have? What the heck do we do about cholesterol?!? Salt is bad and we should avoid it; it will make us retain water. Which natural sweeteners are best?
No wonder so many of us struggle with good food choices.
With so many options, and no natural food limits, it's almost impossible to make good decisions around when/what/where/why/how + how much to eat.
Most of us know that if we want to operate as healthy, happy, nourished humans, we need to make "good" food choices. But exactly what "good" food choices look like differs from person to person.
No two bodies or brains are exactly the same; neither are the food + nutrient needs of people the same. This is why diets + pills so often fail. The input isn't right for that individual's underlying issues.
People's bodies naturally metabolize carbs, protein, fat, vitamins + minerals differently, based on a wide range of factors that include, but aren't limited to: activity level, natural metabolism, genetics, stress, exercise, medication, age, gender, past + current health challenges, mind + body temperament, oxidation rates, natural constitution, digestive health + gut microbiome, organ burden, hormone levels, brain chemistry, nervous system state dominance, climate, core + basal body temperature, etc.
This is why it's imperative to understand, define + consume the set of foods right for our own unique body and build our own food fence to protect our specific needs. We also need to understand, define + consume those optimal foods in the macro + micronutrient balance best for our own unique body and its specific needs. We can't always mimic exactly what worked for someone else, because it might not address the (differing) needs of our own body + health.
We have to construct deliberate fences around our food, because nature no longer does this for us.
None of us deserve to live in a tiny, restricted food cage, and most of us don't do well in an ungated, free-for-all food pasture.
Because each of us have different issues around food, each of us needs a custom-built food fence to protect our brain + body and make sure we are fully, safely nourished.
Often -- as our history with food, health, diets, and/or nutrition may indicate -- we're not the best ones to construct our own food fence. We don't know what we're doing, really, and/or we don't have the energy to do it. We can't quite seem to plant solid fenceposts or foods in the right spots. We know where the weak spots are and we go for them to escape, or we leave ourselves too much wiggle room. Or we hit ourselves with the hammer, repeatedly.
To fix up our (broken) food fences, most of us need a little outside help, guidance + feedback. You know, so we don't intentionally or unintentionally hammer + nail ourselves with food, leave gaping holes in our food fence, or use the wrong food materials to create a less-than-sturdy foundation.
Getting help building or repairing our food fence protects our mind/body health. It's the closest thing we can do to emulate the old, lost protection once set for us by nature.