When it comes to food, I have gone down several different paths over the years. I have been an earnest vegetarian, an avid carnivore and low-carber, and recently have been looking for a new way of eating.
Having looked at food from many different angles, I am here to say that if you find that what you're eating isn't working for you, you don't have to live with it. Change can be a good thing, and often it's the only way to find out what's healthy for you.
Are you overweight? Do you suffer from IBS, heartburn or nausea? Do you struggle with a foggy brain, or panic attacks out of the blue? I was contending with all those things and more at different times, and changing my diet has made a difference for me.
People often stay with the same eating patterns they grew up with even if they are plainly having health problems or discomfort simply because they don't want to change.
But the longer we are alive, the more important flexibility becomes. And the more open we are to change, the better chance we have of living a better and healthier life.
When I was a 19-year-old university student in the 70s I was idealistic and willing to try new things. I had met some vegetarians and had learned a few things about that perspective.
In 1976 "Diet for a Small Planet" by Frances Moore Lappé became my Bible during a time — pre-Internet — when a book could be a precious thing, and the only source of information.
I figured, if I couldn't bring myself to kill it (and I certainly couldn't) then it wasn't right for me to eat it. Cheese, yogurt, eggs, nuts and seeds were my main sources of protein. Rice, whole-grain breads, potatoes, and vegetables of all kinds rounded out my diet.
But over the next few years, I got fat on a vegetarian diet — and became tired of the eye-rolling that came my way after I graduated from university and returned to my small town.
Eventually I incorporated meat as a mainstay again, and by 1980 I'd fallen into a standard North American diet.