Vegan, Carnivore, Keto, Paleo: WHICH ONE is Healthy???

by Coach Ellie

Ever struggle to find the right purse or bag? There are too many factors to consider. Is the color right ? How about the shape; Boxy or round? You find a nice looking one, but then, does it hit your body in the right spot? What about the pockets, compartments and hardware? Do they make the damn thing look too frumpy or too flashy?

The questions don’t stop there.

How about the material? Vegan “leather,” leather-leather, jute, cloth? How long will it last? How much environmental damage (see: guilt) does it represent? Does it fit your image? Do you even have an image?

The same holds true in looking for a “healthy” diet.

Like choosing a purse, finding the right healthy diet for you comes down to an individual choice. You need to figure out what a “healthy diet” looks like for you.

The concept of “healthy” is different for each of us.

There is no one answer. Rather, we each need to determine what adds up to a healthy diet for ourselves and then let that concept guide our eating.

You don’t have to join Team Vegan or Team Carnivore

No need for extremes here. Everyone one has different bodies, genetics, goals etc. Some people value lowering body fat, others want to focus on building muscle. Maybe it is more about controlling carbs and sugars for you. Or maybe you have strong religious or environmental beliefs you want to honor.

Study up and experiment.

You cannot fully know how something will work for you until you try it. Perhaps the idea of a plant based diet floats your boat. Or maybe an animal protein diet appeals. Whatever the case, you can find information about any kind of diet and try it out for yourself.

You require no one’s approval.

Resist peer or media pressure. Don’t be bullied into eating any kind of way. Take in information from sources you trust and maybe even a few you don’t. Ask your friends. Observe others.

Researching diets might not sound like fun

Unless you are a nutrition nerd, wading through diet recommendations may be too time intensive or frankly just boring to you. To overcome this, focus on why changing your diet matters to you.

This is a very fertile topic for a health coaching session. Coaching helps you figure out what is important for you. Then you can hatch a game plan for how to achieve it.

Determine the value of keeping a healthy diet for you

Do some digging to get clear on your motivation for having a healthy diet. What real difference would occur in your life were you to alter your food choices?

What’s bugging you? Are you sick of being out of breath when you walk up a flight of stairs? You want to look better in yoga pants? Just want to improve your immune system? Looking to alleviate joint pain?

Image by Alexandra Folster on Pexels.

All reasons, practical and vain, are good.

Do not shame yourself if your reasons are purely aesthetic and thus not righteous enough. The key is finding YOUR reason. And then reminding yourself the importance it has toward YOUR future.

Odds are, you feel ambivalent about making a change.

On the one hand, you are sick of feeling or looking a certain way. On the other hand, you are not sure that you can even stick it out, so why bother? Or you know it’s good for you but…meh. It’s too hard.


To stick to your healthy diet, you need to get clear on your why.

You need a solid why. And then you need to hold on to it.

Like in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, when Pee Wee waxed philosophic to Simone, that everyone he knows has “a big but(t).” Sure, you may have a “big but” however you can work it out.

Understand that your why (and your “but”) may change over time. And that’s OK. Just keep tweaking your goal and your approach as you go along.

The more you hone in on exactly what would be a meaningful outcome for you, the more you can hold onto your motivation. That is precisely what you can discuss during a coaching session, which will help you get back on track when you feel overwhelmed and start turning to food to manage stress.

Plan your meals in advance

Planning is amazing. It’s like giving your future self a hug. When you plan out your meals a week or even a day in advance, you are far more likely to achieve your goal.

I found this out on my own. I hired a fitness coach to help me gain muscle. She set up my macros, fat/carbs/protein percentages, and tracked my daily eating habits. She kept suggesting I input my meals in advance. It wasn’t until about the ninth week of a 12-week program that I finally followed her professional suggestion.

I was shocked at how much easier that made eating for my goals. It released so much stress!

I had been fighting it because I didn’t want to disappoint myself if I didn’t hit the day’s eating exactly (good ol’ perfectionism). And I didn’t hit it, exactly. But I did come way closer.

Don’t rely on will power or “feeling like it” to eat well.

So, for double points, plug your meals into MyFitnessPal or MyPlate or scribble it on the back of an envelope. Whatever you prefer.

That way you have your calories and macros all set up, and you do not have to think about what to eat. It’s like planning a dinner party for yourself! Even if the cuisine is less than festive.

But don’t we all basically know what being healthy is?

I stick to “healthy” as an individual concept because I have seen the word get toyed with over the decades. In the 80s, fat was killing us. So fat-free muffins were “good” for your health. In the 90s, cholesterol was killing us. Dumping egg yolks down the drain was the key to health. In the early 2000s, that was all debunked. Science progresses, cultures shift, attitudes change, as do our abilities to stick to any one diet.

Image by Markus Spiske on Pexels.

What good is it if an expert tells you what is healthy, and you cannot follow it?

Better that you tell you what healthy is. Stay with me here.

Yes, you could tell yourself that Coke and french fries are healthy for you. And most people would laugh at you. But the key is: find out for yourself. Be honest with yourself. See if corn syrup and simple carbs help you achieve the results you want or not. Adapt accordingly.

If nothing else, you are practicing learning how to trust yourself. Something that cripples love addicts.

In summary:

Search around for different diets and experiment. It’s not about picking THE correct diet, it’s about mixing and matching until something works. Define the purpose of going to all this trouble.

What will change for the better in your life by changing your diet? Are you trying to fit into your favorite jeans or your doctor says your blood work spells disaster? And finally plan. Give yourself the gift of a planned menu rather than winging it day after day.


My favorite cross-body bag, in deep burgundy with a pop of color in the strap, is ready for a sentimental, guilt-tinged KonMari goodbye. Time for me to take my own suggestions to heart. As much as I dislike shopping, I will trust myself to find a bag that works for me.

Need some encouragement and accountability around a topic like this? Schedule a conversation with me, today.

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