New year, New Diet – Right?

Please enjoy the following guest post written by Ambassador @knead_to_cook. For recipe inspiration, head to her blog!
New year, new diet – right?  That is always the trend. So let’s discuss the most popular diets out there and how you can make small changes to revamp your current way of eating.
Paleo is a widely popular.  Basically fruits, vegetables, lean protein sources of meat, seafood, nuts and healthy fats are all acceptable.  Avoiding all dairy, grains, sugars, processed/packaged foods, legumes (including peanuts), starches and alcohol.  Another derivitive of this is a Peagan diet which is a combination of vegan and Paleo eating omitting all lean meats/seafood.  This is a fairly easy diet to adhere to and will help curb those nasty sugar cravings.  Healthy fats/protein rich diets are very satiating allowing to avoid the endless snacking.  This way of eating is long term and produces a very lean, healthy body.
Whole 30
Whole 30 is a short version, specifically 30 day term, of a Paleo diet that allows people to detect which foods are causing problems within their bodies.  Again, inflammatory foods are removed, with a focus on nutrient dense foods.  This program is very strict and may be difficult for some people to follow. The draw for this way of eating is that it’s very strict and allows you to fix problems that are associated with eating like acid reflux, stomach issues etc.  It also promises to help you improve sleep and reduction in autoimmune disorders.  
Please note:  Losing the low fat stigma, allows the body to actually to actually experience the sensation of being full v. the mindless eating that is accompanied by a low fat eating mindset.  Eating healthy fats will not make you fat.  Think coconut oil, which is a medium chain fat that is not stored as fat in the body but is used for energy.  Adding healthy fats is appropriate for all ways of eating that we’re talking about here.
Vegan or plant-based
It is just what it sounds like… you eat plants.  Things grown from the earth v. food manipulated in a lab.  Now with any diet you can choose to go down the healthy avenue or the junk food road.  Yes Oreos are vegan but they are filled with tons of chemicals- get the point?  Think kale, spinach, beets, quinoa, rice, avocado, cacao, grapes, berries, nuts and seeds.  The less the food has been handled the better!  Plant based eaters avoid any product that comes from an animal including dairy, honey etc.
A vegetarian includes eating permits dairy, eggs, honey and all fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.  This way of eating is perfect for people who don’t really prefer to eat meat or seafood but are flexible with other foods.
This is normally a stepping stone moving from being a carnivore to vegan eater.
Gluten Free
What is gluten anyway?  Gluten is a mixture of proteins found in wheat and other grains.  Gluten gives dough that ooey gooey texture.  For people with gluten intolerance or celiac’s disease – gluten acts as an inflammatory in the gut and wreaks havoc on the body.  People suffer from cystic acne, leaky gut, diarrhea and even vomiting/cramping.  Gluten takes several months to fully be removed from your body but has been know to help remove brain fog and a plethora of other wonderful results.  Many products have gluten free options today in both grocery stores and at restaurants. Even big chain pizza delivery services have them!  Think rice or bean pasta that tastes exactly the same as regular pasta but with protein? If pursuing the removal of gluten from your diet – read labels.  I’ve seen it pop up in the craziest places like in licorice!
Let’s boil it all down.  Regardless of the protocol you wish to adopt in 2017, the overwhelming common theme is to eat more fresh fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds.  Avoid at all costs refined sugars, genetically modified foods and anything prepackaged.  Fresh is best.  Read ingredients.  And with a healthy diet, always remember to move your body too for optimum health.  Happy 2017!