What Constitutes Healthy Eating?




Healthy eating.  What does that look like?  

Is there a one-size-fits-all diet that most supports human health?  If so, then why are there so many conflicting beliefs about what constitutes the healthiest diet?

 Hasn't  science been able to determine which foods are best by now?

Is there a way to determine the best food selections for each individual, regardless of what the 'experts' claim?






Shop Earthing.com




By now, most people have been confronted with a range of ideologies about what constitutes healthy eating.  Some claim that we are meant to be eating what our paleolithic forebears ate, that being a more hunter-gatherer type of diet.  

Others believe we will experience lasting health by eschewing the meat, and munching solely on plants.  

Still others claim our health suffers because we eat cooked foods, and are destroying important enzymes in the cooking process.

Does healthy eating involve eating a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet, or a low-protein, high-carbohydrate diet, and if so, should it be fruit-based, or grain-based?  High fat, or low fat?  

So many questions surround the topic of healthy eating!

With all the conflicting dietary advice, how do we determine what constitutes healthy eating, whether for humans as a collective, or for each of us as individuals?


To clear confusion around determining what constitutes healthy eating for you, we suggest learning a few principles to better guide your choices, and help you experience thriving, balanced health. 


  1. The first and most important step is to learn  some nutritional basics, especially knowing which foods pretty much all agree  are not part of a healthy eating plan.  If all you did was avoid, or greatly minimize the foods listed here, you will start to improve your health!

  2. Next, recognize that your human body is still physiologically best adapted to the foods Nature made available to your pre-agricultural ancestors.  The genetic and physiological changes required to be better adapted to modern foods that only came about with the advent of agriculture, about 10,000 years ago, takes a long time.  Many believe we have not  adapted to eating the quantities of carbohydrate-rich foods that most people now regularly consume, hence the increasing rates of obesity and many modern diseases.

  3. The final, and most empowering step is to learn how to eat intuitively.  We can apply the principles of Chinese dietetics and food therapy to help you choose the best foods for your unique needs.  We sometimes also say to 'eat for your dreams.'  What you choose to eat should fit into the context of your goals and desires, along with being a match for your constitution, energetic expenditures, region  you live, and even your ancestry. 


Healthy eating should be enjoyable.  Foods that are good for us will help us feel satisfied, digest and assimilate well, and bring about a feeling of mental and physical well-being.  Too many of us rely on scientific data, blood tests, and the words of 'experts' while ignoring our own biofeedback systems, and direct experience.  We need to Trust Ourselves, and our body's cravings ~ providing we learn how to read the messages.  

To get a taste of learning how to eat more intuitively, imagine for a moment setting aside all nutritional and moral ideologies, then ask yourself  the following question:

Which foods  among those provided by nature ~ that are easy to obtain or prepare with minimal technology  ~ are most attractive to you?  

By and large, people are most drawn to meats, fats and sweets, along with a little salt.

According to Chinese dietetics and  food therapy, meats are considered to have a 'sweet' flavor.  Fruits are also sweet and/or sour and juicy.  Whole grains which can be sweet when thoroughly chewed are not really as sweet as meats and fruits, and are considered to have a bland, neutral flavor.  

A variety of tubers  or root vegetables including sweet potatoes and winter squashes also provide a sweet flavor, and can be enjoyed modestly, depending on one's level of carbohydrate tolerance.



Fats provide pleasure and satiety and can be found in many plant and animal sources.  Choosing the right fats is key when considering healthy eating.  

What fats are actually considered healthy according to scientific studies, including the work of Weston A. Price, and epidemiological observations over many years may surprise you!  

While most people may have heard about the health benefits of consuming monounsaturated fats like extra virgin olive oil, saturated fats, with the exception of coconut oil, are still by and large touted as 'unhealthy.'  Many recent studies, and anecdotal evidence, including our own experiences indicate otherwise.

Greens and other vegetables, along with modest amounts of some fruits are enjoyed as a supplementary part of the diet, providing complementary flavors and nutrients to meats, eggs, and other flesh foods.  

Several decades back, prior to the spike in obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer,  food was still sourced closer to home, and the total consumption of fruits and vegetables comprised roughly 10% of total caloric intake, on average.  

The primary foundational foods were raised on small farms, and backyards, including eggs, chicken, mutton, beef and pork.  They were eating a healthy 'Western' diet, and remained slender and in good health.



According to Sagen Ishizuka, one of the early Japanese pioneers of the macrobiotic movement, healthy eating depended upon the right balance of potassium and sodium salts, and an appropriate level of nutrients to provide peak functioning and health of your entire body and mind.  

Meats and fruits and vegetables are ideal complements  that can provide this balance.  

 How much and which of each of these foods will best support your health can best be determined through experimentation, and by paying attention to various signs and symptoms, which I discuss below, and in my new Trust Your True Nature Diet Plan e-book.


Stir-fry of carrot, onion, garlic, hijiki seaweed, ginger, and a little sesame oil and low-sodium soy sauce


There are signs and symptoms that can help you gauge if you are on the right track.  

If you pay attention, and know what to look for, you can determine if you are eating a healthy diet ~ or not ~ depending on if you are experiencing signs of nutritional deficiencies, or signs of improving health, and adjust your diet accordingly.


Are you showing signs of nutritional deficiencies?

According to our recent research, vegans (and some non-vegans) can be at risk for several nutritional deficiencies, which can take some time to develop.  Both Don and I were experiencing some degree of each of these signs, among others, after several years of eating a produce-rich, allegedly nutrient-dense, plant-based diet.

Some potential indicators of deficiencies of several important nutrients such as zinc, iron, selenium, and B-Vitamins include:

  • Slow wound healing, and slow healing from injuries to joints, bones & ligaments

  • Low libido - men especially need to ensure getting adequate levels of zinc and selenium for healthy production of testosterone, however women can experience low libido due to low testosterone as well.  Even  Rip Esselstyn points this out in his book, My Beef With Meat.  He believes a plant-based diet increases libido.   Our research has indicated the opposite to be the case.  Studies indicate an improvement in libido and fertility from higher consumption of eggs, meats, and saturated fats.  Women may experience low libido as well, especially if also feeling ongoing fatigue.

    It is important to be aware of how misleading studies can be, often with too little information given as to the study methods to draw any real conclusions.

  • Fatigue and general malaise or low-motivation.  A sign of potential deficiency of iron or various B vitamins, especially B12.

  • Dry skin, and premature wrinkling and aging, especially from diets too low in total and saturate fats.

  • Brittle nails and hair.  Signs of blood deficiency in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).  See also #5.  Can also  indicate deficiency of minerals, or inadequate protein in the diet.




  •  Pale nails, pail pink under the eyes, pale pink tongue.  These are also  signs attributed to a blood deficiency syndrome in TCM for which herbal formulas, and increased consumption of meat ~ especially red meat, liver, and other foods would be prescribed.
  • Easily catch colds, catch colds often, or cold hands and feet - can be a potential sign of low-thyroid function, and/or  low zinc levels.

  • Poor vision from low-levels of Vitamin A (plant-based diets can be high in beta-carotene, a Vitamin-A precursor, while Cod Liver Oil, or animal liver, such as pork or beef liver are the best sources of Vitamin A.)

  • Inadvertently over eating, feeling full or bloated, yet still unsatisfied.

  • Lack of real enjoyment eating foods that you mostly eat because you heard that they were 'good for you.'  This is more a sign that you are not eating according to your intuitive nature, and instead are eating what you think you should.


You will know you are eating the right foods when your skin glows, your hair is soft, and you feel good, mentally as well as physically.


Your blood sugar and moods will be balanced, and you will more readily realize your health and weight goals.

Eating the right, nutrient-dense, healthy foods will help you to build lean muscle, which in turn helps you to maintain healthy bones, and your ideal weight as you age.



(Bottom-Left)

Liver is among the most nutritionally dense foods, containing folate, and Vitamin A, which among other things, is great for eye health. Don't like the taste or texture? There are ways to incorporate it into meals that make it more palatable.

Try taking Now brand Liver Powder, or Universal Uni-Liver Tablets (which I usually chew.  They aren't that bad!  The Liver Powder shown tastes fine when mixed with a little low-sodium vegetable juice and water, along with the citrus flavored Carlson Labs Cod Liver Oil.  See also top right if interested to order.

(Top-Left)

In early 2017, we amended what we believed to be a healthy diet, switching from eating whole grains, beans & greens as seen above, to a more ancestral or paleo centered around animal proteins, vegetables, healthy traditional fats, and some fruits & nuts, pictured right.

Delicious, perfectly roasted turkey wing w/ a sesame-ginger marinade served in sauce w/ vegetables


Folks who live in rural areas tend to have healthier eating habits than their urban counterparts, who rely more on take out and processed 'convenience' foods.  Rudolph Ballentine discusses this in his book Diet and Nutrition, A Holistic Perspective.

Joel Salatin recounts a couple stories in his book Folks, This Ain't Normal:  A Farmer's Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People and a Better World  indicating just how pervasive the disconnect from our food source has become.  There are now people who pretty much only eat pre-packaged foods that can be quickly zapped in a microwave, and have no clue how to cook a simple meal from fresh whole foods.

Healthy eating requires taking the time to prepare food at home.  It doesn't have to be very time consuming or complicated!

While you can learn how to make better choices when ordering out at a restaurant, you have much greater control over everything you consume when you prepare it yourself.  

All of my meal suggestions and recipes in the Trust Your True Nature Diet Plan e-book are super simple!  And delicious!



Our TYTN Diet Plan highlights the foods known to best support development of muscle growth coupled with fat loss to achieve an optimal body composition.  



Chicken Cacciatore Style Chicken slow roasted with tomato and diced vegetables
Homemade Turkey Bone Broth Soup.


Eating protein and fat has been shown in several studies to be best for developing muscles.  

According to the conclusion by the authors in the abstract, Dietary Protein for Athletes: From Requirements to Optimum Adaptation, published on Pub Med:

"...it does appear, however, that there is a good rationale for recommending to athletes protein intakes that are higher than the RDA. Our consensus opinion is that leucine, and possibly the other branched-chain amino acids, occupy a position of prominence in stimulating muscle protein synthesis; that protein intakes in the range of 1.3-1.8 g · kg(-1) · day(-1) consumed as 3-4 isonitrogenous meals will maximize muscle protein synthesis. These recommendations may also be dependent on training status: experienced athletes would require less, while more protein should be consumed during periods of high frequency/intensity training. Elevated protein consumption, as high as 1.8-2.0 g · kg(-1) · day(-1) depending on the caloric deficit, may be advantageous in preventing lean mass losses during periods of energy restriction to promote fat loss."

Other studies have shown that even those who are not athletes can safely consume higher levels of protein ~ and saturate fats ~ with good results.

Since switching our diet to once again include animal foods, we have noticed great results with our own strength training routine ~ with swifter recovery, greater endurance, and more immediate and observable muscle gain.

As a bonus, our skin and hair has become much softer and shinier as well.  A sure sign of eating a healthy diet!



Tender Steak & Kale Salad

Not that long ago, beef was on everybody's menu.  It was more affordable.  Nowadays, people are having a cow over eating some of the most nutrient-rich food, while decrying the raising of cows ~ despite their ability to produce the most natural, synthetic & chemical-free, gold star of fertilizer ~ when raised on pasture, as our ancestors did.

Super delicious 100% Grass-Fed (GF) Burgers w/ GF cheddar cheese, sautéed onions, and salad w/ grape tomatoes


To determine what constitutes healthy eating for you will also depend on the context of your past habits, and current condition.  

Within the greater framework of our TYTN Diet Plan, there is an ideal set of foods that can be determined based on your personal goals and needs.



What constitutes healthy eating will vary for each person, however there are basic rules that apply to all, such as avoiding the  foods that are definitely not part of a healthy eating plan, as mentioned above, and as outlined here.

It is our desire  to empower people to free themselves from  rigid dietary boxes, prevent potential health challenges, and enjoy ones diet and life.  We have experienced the cognitive dissonance that comes from adhering to dogma, while ignoring our own innate wisdom.

Preparing natural, healthy meals is a sacred act.  When we are mindful, and have embodied the above principles, we can  finally trust ourselves to be the best determiner of what healthy eating looks like for each of us individually, more easily tuning out the rest of the noise in the endless sea of dietary fads and advice.  

Ultimately, we are each responsible for our own choices, and the creator of our outcomes.  Determining what is healthy eating is a personal journey, one that can save you countless dollars in medical bills, and provide you with a much greater quality of life! 

Embracing this responsibility is a far more empowering and liberating way to live!



Before concluding, here is one more simple study to consider:  

A 1999 crossover study published in Pediatrics, was conducted on 12 obese boys comparing the hormonal appetite regulating effects after consuming a low, medium, or high glycemic breakfast.  The low glycemic breakfast consisted of a vegetable omelette with fruit, and the medium and high glycemic breakfasts consisted of oatmeal.  The high glycemic breakfast was made with instant oats, while the medium glycemic breakfast was made with steel cut oats.  

They were given a lunch, and a low-glycemic dinner.  During the day, between meals, they were to ask for food when they felt hungry, ad libitum.  The hormonal and metabolic test results indicated a clear difference between the various diets, with the low-glycemic breakfast producing the best results.  

They consumed less food and had a better insulin response following the low-glycemic vegetable omelette, then when consuming the instant oats, and the steel cut oats.



This study exemplifies to me the different effects of eating carbohydrate-rich meals, versus a meal made with protein, and some vegetables and fats. 

We have experienced greater energy and satiety and much better digestion eating animal protein-rich meals with some vegetables or fruits, than when we were consuming even our higher-protein grain, bean, and vegetable porridges while vegan.

Healthy eating can be determined by our direct experience!


The classic oatmeal porridge on the left, made with steel cut oats (shown here topped with a few walnuts and a little sprinkle of brown sugar ) provided more satiety than instant oatmeal to the boys in the crossover study, however, the classic 'Western' breakfast of eggs (shown here scrambled with some ham, spinach and other veggies) has a lower glycemic index than the oatmeal, and provided longer lasting satiety, with a better insulin response.  

A standard 'Western Diet' ~ comprised of animal foods, healthy fats, and some fresh, seasonal vegetables & fruit ~ is an example of healthy eating that was enjoyed by our European, and other hunter-gatherer ancestors for eons, in good health!

Special note:  

The books shown above are a sampling of resources we read which represent both sides of the dietary debate.  Several books shown that convinced us of committing to a plant-based diet are interesting, however, we now see the gaps in much of the research cited in those books.  

Read with an open mind! There are always two sides to every story.  Studies are very easy to interpret in a way that reflects what you are trying to prove.  Sometimes the devil is in the details that were not discussed!

All purchases made through the links are greatly appreciated.  Every little bit helps in contribution towards the time and effort it takes to produce free high quality content.  

Below are links to all of my previous books promoting a largely plant-based diet.  Each contains a variety of information and recipes, all quite enjoyable for those interested.   

Please note:  we no longer consider an entirely plant-based, high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet to reflect 'healthy eating' especially long-term for the majority of people.   However, many people are wanting to eat a more plant-based diet, and don't know how to prepare many foods that make it at all sustainable.  For this reason, I've kept my books available ~ for their supplementary information, and recipes.  

Healthy eating that satisfies.

Now only $5+

Buy NOW

Simple & delicious!  Eat right, lose weight, feel great!

Macrobiotic diets typically focus on whole grains and a variety of greens and land and sea vegetables, along with some beans and legumes ~ foods we once considered foundational to healthy eating.  

If you are interested in simple recipes incorporating a more plant-based focus, including some whole grains, beans, and more greens and vegetables, all of my previous books in the Basic Macrobiotic Book Series, along with Make Every Bite Count have been priced at the lowest allowable price above the printing costs.  


White Bean Soup w/ Millet Squares & Vegetables
Carrot-Pumpkin Soup


>Return to Home Page 

>Healthy Living   >Healthy Eating  >Healthy Diet   

>(Our) Low-Carb Diet ~ What We Eat & Why (+ videos & resources of a few experts in the field)

>Physical Health   >Trust Your True Nature

>TYTN Diet Plan

>TYTN Health Coaching


What have you always considered a healthy diet?  What do you want to learn more about?  Feel free to share or subscribe.

Thoughts? Do Share!

I'd love to hear from you! Leave me a comment in the box below.