The One True, Absolute Best Diet for Optimal Health

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My Philosophy When it comes to health and nutrition, my philosophy is to be Agnostic. There are a lot of beliefs out there about what the one, true, absolute best diet is for optimal health – whether it’s gluten-free, high-fat, low-carb, IIFYM, paleo, vegan (there’s even something called “pegan” now which is some sort of paleo-vegan-hybrid diet) – but the truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to diet and nutrition. 
I am a vegetarian, but it’s not for the controversial reasons many people associate vegetarian or veganism with. I won’t guilt-trip you for eating unborn chickens for breakfast…even though it does kind of make you monster (kidding!).
One major reason I decided to become a vegetarian is the impact the farming industry has on the environment. Choosing not to eat meat is just one small step I can take to reduce my carbon footprint and show my compassion for the planet we live on. The other reason is very personal and related to my health.
The Struggle My whole life, I have struggled with digestive issues, immune deficiencies, and migraines, but until fairly recently, the link between health and diet wasn’t a widely talked about thing. My parents and doctors never linked my diet to my health conditions, and so I continued to eat crappy food that was only making matters worse.
But when I got older and took my health into my own hands, I found the diet that works for me and my body. One based on vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, healthy fats, and soy protein which my body is able to more easily digest, and provides me with all nutrients I was lacking to improve my immune system. Once those two issues were resolved, the migraines cleared up as well.
I also try to avoid gluten and dairy for the same reason, although I occasionally splurge on a pint of ice cream (because lets be honest, an ice-cream cone is just never enough, and then I have to feel guilty about the gluten in the cone instead of just the dairy and it gets way too stressful, so I just stick to eating straight out of the carton 😉 )
On top of my body’s struggles, there’s also a lot of cancer and disease that runs in my family. My mom and my grandma both had cancer, my grandpa died of heart disease, and my brother – who is a personal trainer, CrossFit competitor, and chiropractor – had a stroke two years ago at 28 years old.
So you bet your ass I researched the hell out of what specific diet I need to be following to reduce my risk of any of that crap happening to me. And all the research I did pointed me to a plant-based diet. Which I was already doing – it just gave me peace of mind and more motivation to stick with it.

Vegetarian is the diet that works for me specifically, on both a physical and mental level. But that doesn’t mean that’s the right diet for everyone.

I exercise daily, but I’m not an athlete. And I have no intentions of ever becoming an athlete. Some people are made for competitiveness and pushing their bodies to the absolute limits, I’m more of the “Let’s all be winners! And then go grab a beer together” type. 
If I were an athlete, my current diet would not be sufficient. That’s not to say an athlete can’t be a vegetarian – I know plenty of them – but they’re very dedicated to it and spend a lot of time on their meal prep and eating habits to ensure they’re getting sufficient nutrients. That’s a lot of time most people aren’t willing to give, or just simply don’t have to spare in the first place. When your entire life doesn’t revolve around the upkeep of your body, it’s a lot harder to dedicate that much time to what you eat.

You have to find the right diet to complement your lifestyle.

Food Religions It is mind-blowing how far nutrition and diet plans have come in recent years, which is both wonderful and terrifying at the same time. I love that I can go out to almost any restaurant and not worry about whether they’ll have any vegetarian options because virtually every restaurant has now adapted to cater to non-meat eaters.
On the other hand, a lot of people become so obsessed with the diet they follow it’s almost like a religion. Believe it or not, the one thing I get bullied about more than anything else is being a vegetarian. And that’s saying a lot considering I’m a Seahawks fan living in the Bay Area. 
A lot of people treat me differently when they find out I’m a vegetarian. Like I’m lesser of a person. They mock me. They make me feel like an inconvenience to the world around me. They poke at me like they’re expecting me to go off on some ethical rant about animal cruelty. They ask questions, without really wanting to know the answer because their mind has already been made up about what they think about me and vegetarianism, they’re just hoping for the opportunity to “prove me wrong”.
On the other end of the spectrum, we all know there are vegans who won’t even hesitate to voice their beliefs and advocate for their diet as well. Same goes for Paleo or IIFYM.
The key to a healthy diet is to discover what works for YOU, rather than drink the kool-aid of a religious diet that other people are telling you is right for everyone. If the diet that works for you just so happens to fall under a specific eating plan like paleo or vegan, that’s just fine.
A common theme you’ll find among all of these healthy eating diets is to eat whole, minimally processed, nutrient-rich foods. Whether that comes from plant sources or animal sources, all healthy diets agree on those three things as a baseline for optimal nutrition. No amount of counting calories, protein, carbs, or fat is as important as those three things right there.
When we choose higher quality foods that still have all their nutrients intact, they satisfy our bodies helping us feel fuller longer and eliminate nutrient deficiencies – which has a direct impact on our ability to lose fat, lean out, and perform at our best.
Habit Change I started The Positive Change Co. to create habit change – rather than drill people about what they can and can’t eat. It’s about learning what your habits are, increasing your awareness of what you’re putting into your body and how it affects you, and encouraging you to actually care about making healthier choices.
I started this blog to help you make small daily changes so that your habits become: choosing the side of steamed veggies over the side of french fries and ranch at a restaurant, avoiding certain aisles at the grocery store, incorporating greens into every lunch or dinner, choosing organic over the processed crap, etc.
I didn’t pursue nutrition because I have a deep love for food or want to evangelize a specific way of eating, I chose it because of the impact that food has on our ability to live life to the fullest. And that’s something that I wanted to be able to give to a community of people who I believe have the power to change the world with their ideas, ambitions, and sense of adventure. I’m talking about you, digital nomads.
Digital Nomads As entrepreneurs, freelancers, and remote workers, I can almost guarantee that none of you followed one of those “already done for you” business templates and launched a successful career overnight. Every single one of you put in the time and effort to get to where you are today – you earned this life. Your health and lifestyle is the same way.
If I just handed you the secret to healthy living on a silver platter, said “Here’s the specific diet to follow, here’s your exercise routine, start immediately and your life will be forever changed…” you would stick with it for maybe two weeks before getting too bored or too busy to keep up with it.

Nothing worth it is ever that easy. You have to gradually work towards creating change, getting into new habits and routines, and adapting to a new way of living. You have to put in the effort. You have to want it, and to believe in the value it’s providing for your life.

Some people want me to just tell them exactly what they need to be doing, but that’s just not the way the world works. Because it won’t make a difference. The only way I can make a difference is to inspire you to make the change within yourself

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Bre Fowler

Hi, I’m Bre – the founder of The Positive Change Co!
In early 2015, I left my familiar life in Seattle, WA behind to travel the world and become a digital nomad. Traveling as a LIFESTYLE completely transformed me. It was during my first big trip abroad in SE Asia and Australia that I found my passion for healthy living, addiction for personal growth, and a profound sense of purpose in the world. The Positive Change Co. is about more than just eating healthy and taking care of your body, it’s about becoming the best possible version of yourself so that you can offer your best self to others and live a more meaningful life.

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