Do you ever feel like some days your body just isn’t on the same page as your diet plan? No matter how hard you try to eat healthy foods, nothing gives you lasting energy or satisfaction?
Well, that might be because when it comes to what we should eat, one size does not fit all!
Introducing Bio Individuality – the concept of eating specifically for our own unique bodies and needs.
With a few tips and tricks, you could soon be crafting meals tailored specifically for YOU. So don’t worry if trying a new diet doesn’t work out: It might just mean it wasn’t the right diet for YOU!
- What is bio-individuality, and why should you care about it?
- How to figure out your bio-individuality type?
- Popular ways of eating to focus on your bio-individuality
- How do you know what foods (or diet) are best for your bio-individuality?
- The wrap – bio-individuality
What is bio-individuality, and why should you care about it?
Bio-individuality is the idea that each person has unique biological needs and requirements, including their nutritional & supplement needs, metabolism, and glucose responses to certain foods.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to health and nutrition, and developing a personalized approach is super important – especially as we age.
Sometimes we don’t even know or understand what food triggers (or pet allergies!) we have until we take the time to figure it out through a proper elimination.
Wondering how to figure this out and get started? Keep reading…
How to figure out your bio-individuality type?
Here are some ways to figure out your bio-individuality and start feeling your best!
1. Keep a food journal & experiment.
Tracking what you eat and how it makes you feel can help you identify patterns or sensitivities. This information can be used to tailor your diet to your unique needs.
While there are a lot of food tracking apps out there, I personally like MyFitnessPal because you can add notes to each day (to include your feelings/sensitivities). Plus, with a pro account, you can easily export the data to share with your nutritionist.
This brings me to the next point!
2. Work with a functional nutritionist.
A functional nutritionist can help you identify any underlying health issues or imbalances that may impact your overall health.
They can also help you develop a personalized nutrition and lifestyle plan based on your individual needs.
This is especially helpful if you’re feeling sick, suffering, and feel you have tried ‘everything’ – I have a GREAT functional dietitian if you’re interested. She was a big piece in helping me solve a lot of gut issues that contributed to my Lupus.
I started with Pure Encapsulations supplements – and highly recommend them! Not all supplements are created equal… which I hadn’t realized before!
Totally worth it!
3. Get functional medicine tests:
Functional medicine tests can be very beneficial when figuring out a person’s bio-individuality. (it was for me!)
It takes a personalized approach to healthcare that addresses the root causes of illness by looking at each individual’s unique biochemistry, and physiology versus the one size fits all medication approaches many physicians use.
To determine a person’s specific needs, functional medicine practitioners use a variety of specialized lab tests, including hormone testing and other functional medicine lab tests.
These tests allow practitioners to get a comprehensive picture of a patient’s health status and identify any imbalances or deficiencies that may be contributing to their health issues. By identifying these imbalances, practitioners can develop a personalized treatment plan that includes natural therapies, dietary & lifestyle changes, and sometimes supplements to help address the patient’s unique health needs.
Side note: When I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, I looked right at the endocrinologist and asked what diet changes I should adjust – specifically wondering about coffee. She said, “that’s no problem – keep doing what you’re doing”
Wait. What? It turns out caffeine is one of the worst things you can do for an overworked adrenal system that burned out receptors! So always do your own research, and second opinions with functional medicine doctors are priceless.
I used 5 Strands Testing to start exploring my food sensitivities and also recommend EverlyWell tests for hormones, thyroid, gut health, etc.
4. Splurge for DNA Testing
DNA tests can help determine a person’s bio-individuality way of eating by identifying certain genetic variations that may impact an individual’s nutrient metabolism and absorption, as well as food sensitivities and intolerances.
They say, you’re not what you eat – but what you absorb.
DNA Tests were some of the first exploratory tests I had done when meeting with a functional nutritionist. And it turns out my genetic makeup makes it hard for me to absorb many nutrients from food – specifically B Vitamins and Vitamin D.
I geeked out on all the information and loved learning the specific genetic details of my body.
This information can help individuals optimize their nutrition and help identify a person’s risk for developing certain conditions or diseases.
5. Wear a continuous glucose monitor (CGM)
In November 2022, I wore a continuous glucose monitor for a few weeks to learn what foods spiked (and crashed) my blood sugar. Not only was this important for my metabolic health, but I learned that the blood sugar drops were causing MANY of my chronic migraines too! Damn.
Continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) can be highly beneficial in determining an individual’s bio-individuality in relation to their personal blood glucose levels . Nothing else gives you the ongoing picture in real-time. (And it sure beats pricking your finger throughout the day!)
Additionally, CGMs can help individuals detect trends and patterns in their glucose levels that can inform lifestyle and dietary choices, allowing for personalized adjustments to improve blood glucose management.
Did you know?
In 2019, 37.3 million Americans, or 11.3% of the population, had diabetes.
Most of us are walking around, not knowing we’re pre-diabetic! Crazy…
Popular ways of eating to focus on your bio-individuality
Your friend swears by keto, but you get sick thinking about all that fat! Yes, we’re all different – which is good and bad. If there were one BEST way to eat for everyone, we would have a lot less misleading nutritional information floating around…. But instead, we’re each our own little experient! 🙂
And that’s ok – it just takes a little work. Here are a few elimination diets used by top functional health practitioners to help hone in on bio-individuality eats!
Elimination diets are often used to identify food sensitivities or intolerances that can negatively affect an individual’s health and well-being. Some popular elimination diets include:
- The Simple (Modified) Diet
This diet involves avoiding just one food or, sometimes, the two most common food allergy triggers: wheat (including gluten items) and dairy.
- The Cleveland Clinic Elimination Diet
This diet involves removing a specific list of foods, including dairy, gluten, soy, corn, eggs, and more, for one to two months before gradually reintroducing them to determine if they cause any negative symptoms.
- The Whole30 Diet
This diet involves avoiding all grains, dairy, legumes, sugar, and processed foods for 30 days to reset the body and identify any food sensitivities or intolerances.
- The Low FODMAP Diet
This diet involves removing foods that are high in certain types of carbohydrates that can cause digestive issues, such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea. Examples of high FODMAP foods include wheat, onions, garlic, and certain fruits.
- The Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diet
The AIP diet is similar to the paleo diet, with an additional emphasis on removing foods that may cause inflammation, such as eggs, nuts, seeds, and nightshades. It was designed for those suffering from autoimmune diseases, so there is no gluten, no grains, no legumes, no dairy, no sugar, and no alcohol, which is similar to the paleo diet. Additionally, the AIP diet takes it one step further, eliminating eggs, nuts, seeds, and nightshades [
- Animal-Based/ Carnivore/Zero Carb Diet
The carnivore or zero-carb diet is an eating plan that involves consuming only animal foods and excluding all plant-based foods from the diet. This type of diet typically consists of meat, fish, eggs, high-fat dairy products, and animal fats. The diet is considered an extreme version of the keto diet as it is also a zero-carbohydrate diet.
And you know what? I’ve personally tried these ALL before settling on a mostly animal-based diet. It takes a lot of trial and error, but it’s worth it – I promise!
Remember, it often takes a lot of time – months even – to fully see how your body heals, adopts, and changes. Be patient!
Focusing on balancing nutrition and identifying any imbalances in the body can benefit overall health for anyone — specifically those with autoimmune conditions/ chronic diseases, like myself. It can be a GAME-CHANGER!
How do you know what foods (or diet) are best for your bio-individuality?
To determine what foods or diet is best for your bio-individuality, one approach is to identify personal food sensitivities by cleaning up your diet from scratch and removing processed foods for two to three weeks to give your body a clean slate to work with. Then you can start to hone in on what type of diet, or way of eating is best for your body.
One by one, you can add other foods to your diet to observe how your body reacts to them.
Another approach is to focus on eating real, whole foods that are nutrient-dense. What does that mean?
Basically, if it has a label, it’s probably not a whole food that’s chock full of nutrition.
However, it’s important to note there are healthy, unprocessed foods that can also wreak havoc on your system too,
This includes plant toxins, pesticides, and other environmental factors, such as those with mold or histamines intolerances.
You don’t know what you don’t know! Time to start the investigation 🙂
The wrap – bio-individuality
In implementing a personalized approach to nutrition, it is important to understand bio-individuality, as it is the #1 most life-changing nutrition concept that stands the test of time. A holistic approach to nutrition is necessary to nourish the body on all levels while recognizing individual differences.
Therefore, eating according to your bio-individuality means understanding your unique needs and tailoring your diet and lifestyle to meet those needs. It may involve experimentation and adjustment, but it ultimately improves health and well-being.
Each person has their own specific nutritive and health needs, routines, practices, and preferences that work for them, and it is crucial to honor those differences to optimize health and well-being. For instance, the foods that sustain one person may not work for another.
Knowledge is power!