Is a whole food organic diet enough to see results? {197}

Apr 13, 2022 | Podcast

In this episode, we are talking about if a whole food organic, healthy ish diet is enough for you to see results. The answer to this will surprise you but I think it’s really useful because either you’ll be making this mistake or you will just not realise that there’s so much else you can do to feel better.

I’m going to be sharing two different client stories focusing on what each individual needed, how they were different and to use them as examples to show you these different paths because sometimes we like to be black and white with food and health.

If you are wanting to see results in your belly and your hormones etc, it’s not about this is right, and this is wrong for you – It’s about that personalised approach. It’s about what’s going to work for YOU. It’s about what is going on in your biology, in your body, your gut, your hormones, your brain, what is happening for you and having that personalised approach. That is how you see results.

If you are struggling, if you are bloated, if you are tired, there’s so much that can be done for you to feel really good, even if you’ve been told everything’s normal, but nothing can be done. There’s so much room for you to feel better.

This is a pattern that I see quite a lot and it’s a conversation I have with a lot of people where essentially, they have a healthy-ish, whole food-ish diet – Basically a diet that isn’t quite perfect.

They maybe:

  • eat whole foods.
  • make food from scratch.
  • eat some vegetables.
  • just eat spoonfuls of sugar every day.

And they think that ‘if I already do that and I’m still struggling, then there’s not much else I can do’

But most of the time I tell them ‘whoa, you have barely scratched the surface and a healthy whole foods diet is obviously not working for you if you’re not feeling great.’

If you are stuck in this way of thinking, it will hold you back and stop you feeling the way that you want to feel.

Side note: A lot of the stuff I share on the podcast is general stuff as I’m talking to a wide audience – So, you might be a real exception to this. The only way that you can know is by getting personalised support. Book in a call, come and work with me because.

Everybody’s different. There’s always exceptions to the rule here, but this is something I’ve seen time and time and time again.

Is it enough to eat pretty well? Is it enough to have a whole food healthy ish diet isn’t enough.

And what I mean by enough is, is that going to help you so out your gut, your energy, your skin, your mental health? Just having that as your base line, having that as your diet, as your lifestyle, will that shift your gut health? Will that help with yeast overgrowth? Will that help with the anxiety, the depression, the eczema, the ongoing fatigue, the hormonal issues?

The answer to this is not black and white. The answer to this is – It depends.

For some people eating whole foods, organic ish, healthy diet is a way of life and it’s totally enough. This is probably something that you have seen on the internet where someone has, for example, been struggling with eczema or Acne or they had a bit of weight they needed to lose or felt really tired and they say that as as as they changed to a dairy free, whole food diet, everything in their life changed.

Yes, for some people, that is all that they need to do, but for a lot of people, it’s not the answer. It’s not enough. It’s not the only thing that they need.

This really depends on the health issues happening, on how long they’ve been going for, how many years, how chronic, what the conditions are and what the symptoms are and what is actually happening.

I would say about 40% of people in my community, this is enough – They start eating more whole foods and no refined sugar. They figured out their food intolerances. They add in a couple more organic foods and feel a big difference in their belly and energy.

Then the other 60% of people in my community apply the whole foods, more organic diet and they see a modicum of improvement that might improve their symptoms by 10%-20%. They see some improvement, but by no means, are they feeling amazing because their health issues are more chronic, more longstanding and there’s more root causes.

For a lot of people I work with there’s multiple root causes. So, you might deal with one of those root causes (maybe you get rid of dairy and that really helps your sinuses) but on the whole, you don’t make loads of progress because it’s not the only thing at play here.

So, how do you know if it is helping? How do you know if it is enough for you?

The answer is really simple. – You look at the results.

If you have been on a whole foods diet, or have tried vegan or added in more plant-based or paleo, Slimming World or Weight Watchers meals and you’re not feeling better – maybe your symptoms are getting worse or they’ve stayed the same then no, it is not working. It’s not enough. It’s not the root cause.

It might be that while you’re dealing with one of the root causes, but you’ve got another four that you’re ignoring, it’s getting in the way of you making progress.

In the years prior to coming to work with me, some of my clients have followed me on Instagram or listened to this podcast and they’ve tried fermented foods, they don’t eat tons of sugar, they tend to make most of their food from scratch and most of the time they are aware of food intolerances and have maybe tried a gluten-free or dairy-free or egg-free diet or whatever the thing is that they feel like might be irritating them.

And when they send me their food diary they have maybe had some fermented food in the day, they make that food from scratch, they eat vegetables and fruit, they’re not just eating sugary cereal for breakfast and living off of chocolate, beer and takeaways. – They actually have a decent holiday and an ish diet, but they aren’t feeling better. They’ve maybe gained weight. They’ve maybe got joint pain or they’ve been diagnosed with a thyroid issue.

After all of the changes that they’ve done, actually their health has either stayed the same or has potentially gotten worse. So, that in itself is the answer to this big question – it really depends on YOU.

Sometimes we don’t allow the connection to happen. We will read about veganism or ketogenic or whatever diet and will follow it for a month and then think that we feel a bit better, maybe a bit less tired, maybe more bloated or don’t feel that great at all but we keep thinking ‘oh, well, I’ve read that it’s healthy and it works for other people.’

I have done this myself. When I was studying, I kept on reading through the research about the ketogenic diet and how this was awesome from insulin resistance and read different research on it. As I was learning more about insulin management, how the body is responds to carbs, I thought that it made total sense and that I should be on a ketogenic diet.

I started the diet and started tracking my ketone levels for about nine months. I didn’t have a massive reason to start doing it. Maybe to lose a little bit of weight, but not a lot. I actually gained weight and my periods started to get out of balance and I felt tired. doing it so I just thought I had to do the ketogenic diet harder.

It was really not a good approach for me, but I wasn’t paying attention because I was more bothered about how right this way of eating was supposedly good and I was ignoring what my body was saying.

I see this in greater or lesser degrees where people are really hung up on their healthy eating diets. For example, you may have read that Kiefer is really good for you and yes, Kiefer can be really good for you (or sauerkraut or fermented food) but if you have histamine intolerance, it is not good for you. It’s like we get so attached to the formula, to the diet and keep thinking ‘this must be healthy’ so we ignore what our bodies are saying.

It’s not that you suddenly need to become vegan or paleo – It just means that you probably need to have some other approaches to help you see results. That’s why I’m a holistic nutritionist. – We look at nutritional science, of course, but we also look at things like sleep.

We look at lifestyle shifts. We look at detox support. We look at supplementation, we look at stress management, because when you deal with all of them and then you make the way that you’re eating work for you. If that makes sense.

Here are two examples of different cases: One client where her whole food, organic diet wasn’t enough and another client where it was.

Client 1:

Layla had been struggling with digestive issues and some embarrassing bowel issues for decades.She also had a history of some fibromyalgia, but generally speaking, her main problem was waking up in the night, bowel issues, digestive issues, bloating and reflux.

She ate a clean diet of organic whole foods, low fat, lots of vegetables, good amounts of protein and she ate a decent amount of food. She exercised regularly. She spent time outside.

On paper, she was great. – She doesn’t eat loads of processed food. She sometimes wasn’t perfect and that’s totally fine – You don’t have to be perfect to see results.

Every day, she was struggling with awful digestive issues. She was feeling embarrassed. Her confidence was lacking. It was impacting her work, her relationships. She had reflux often, so it was damaging her teeth.

Her whole food, organic, kind of low fat diet was not enough for her.

So, we did a whole gut protocol. We ran some tests. We had to look at what was going on. There were some parasites so we had to shift those. We had to do some clearing out and rebuilding, reducing the inflammation. We had to figure out what her food intolerances were because she was eating all this healthy food, but she was intolerant to some of this healthy food.

She had a healthy, organic whole food diet, yet her symptoms hadn’t changed, hadn’t gotten better and she’d even tried working with other practitioners, but because they’d not had a full picture, a full holistic approach, she hadn’t seen results. So, for her, it was not enough.

We didn’t make massive changes to her diet, we just needed to solve the right problem which was never going to be solved by focusing on diet alone.

We had to do some clearing out because of some of the dysbiosis in the gut
We had to support some nutrients.
We had to support some metabolism, energy production through supplementation and through detoxing, lifestyle and sleep.

The reason that she hadn’t seen results for the years previously was because she’d only focused on food – what to eat and what not to eat and only.

Client 2:

The next example of this is another client, Sara where this whole food approach was enough for her to feel better.

So, this particular client was in a lot of pain and really struggling, had done all the investigations and no one could figure out what was wrong. Nothing untoward was discovered, but there was just a lot of pain happening, poor sleep and poor energy.

We made some key nutritional and dietary shifts to get her eating a bit more food, eating more regularly, adding a bit more whole foods, removing some of the processed foods that she was having.

We also did some support for her nervous system and sleep.

The shift happened when we figured out the right foods for her. It wasn’t a general approach because there was so much stress and pain so we didn’t do a big elimination thing. We actually just focused on getting the right nutritional foundations and then supporting her nervous system and then that was enough for her and her results will be maintained by that foundation.

It’s very easy to get into these patterns and then get frustrated when we are not feeling the benefit of the changes we have made. This idea that just changing your food will be enough isn’t always enough.

Sometimes you need supplement protocols, gut protocols, liver support, detox, support, lifestyle stuff, sleep support, environmental changes etc.

The main thing you’ve got to figure out is what your causes are. What are the key problems happening and how can you address them? What are the right problems to solve are and if and how/if can you eat to solve all of those problems? How can you live, sleep, poop, and detox to help solve all those problems?

So, is a whole food, organic diet enough to see results? The answer really is. It depends.

If you’re not sure what that is for you, book a free call with me and we can chat more about working together and what that might look like.


Want to see BIG results in your energy, belly, skin and hormones?

Then chances are you need some personalised support (hint – that is what I do!). Click here to find out more and to book your call with me.


Resources Mentioned

  • Find out more about working with me here – and book your call.
  • Find out more on how to deal with constipation – here and here
  • Find out about the BIGGEST mistake people make in supporting their digestion here
  • Looking for free-from recipes? Then check out all my yummy recipes here
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