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Bio-Individuality is a term that is not thrown around a lot in our one-size-fits-all society. We live as if everything works for everyone when in reality it doesn’t. You hear about this fabulous new diet that helped your neighbor lose 25 pounds, but when you apply the diet principles to your own life, you gain weight. What works for your body will not necessarily work for others and vise versa. Your body is unique to you and you alone. What you eat, the air you breath, your stress level, and your genetics all play a role in how you react to smells, foods, and your environment. All of these things make you, uniquely you.

Bio-Individuality looks at the whole person when it comes to a nutritional approach. It is proving to be a more effective approach than applying general diet requirements to anyone and everyone. The daily recommended amount of magnesium might work for one person but might not be enough for another due to that individual’s high stress levels. Most nutritionists and doctors are trained to give generalized nutrition suggestions; they do not look at the individual to see what is going on in their lives. When you look at the individual, you can get a more holistic picture instead of falling back on what is recommended to the general public.

When people are making initial changes to their diet in order to lose weight or just to regain some health, general nutrition guidelines are helpful to give them a place to start. Paying attention to how your body reacts to foods is the first step in creating bio individuality. Getting in tune with your body’s reactions is important so you can make the changes needed so your body continues to reach your goals. If a food is making you feel poorly, remove it for a while and then slowly add it back in, paying attention to your body’s reaction. If your body reacts poorly, it is not a food that needs to be in your diet, no matter how “healthy” the experts say it is.

Being able to understand your body and what works for you is profoundly liberating. It frees you from the frustration that is accompanied by not seeing the same results that others do. You are no longer down on yourself, berating yourself for not doing enough or following it strictly enough. There is a reason you are doing everything right and it is not working for you. You are free from the studies that say that this food or that food is bad for you today, but wonderful for you tomorrow. It is an amazing feeling. 

There is further personalization when working with holistic health professionals. There are metabolic, oxidative, vitamin and mineral, and digestive tests that can be run to pinpoint exactly where you are and what your body is needing to run at its optimal performance.  

This isn’t a miracle pill or a quick fix; getting into optimal health takes hard work. I understand that there are a lot of people that want to do things quickly in our “instant” society, but it just doesn’t work that way. It took you years to get to where you are right this second and will take some time to get to where you want to be. During your journey there will be ups and downs and small tweaks, but it will be worth it. You will one day look back and see how far you came and be proud. Taking your time to learn what works for your body and what doesn’t will set you up for a lifetime of good habits. Perfection isn’t something to strive for; perfection can be boring, but developing good habits that work for you 80-90% of the time is the goal.  

Niki Claybrook holistic nurtitionist