So Life by Design (LBD) is a way of living founded by Dr. Kresimir Jug and Dr. Rachelle Vanderheyden-Jug, who are chiropractors here in London. Essentially it believes that we are all designed to be extraordinary. We are meant to be awesome. We are meant to be happy. We are meant to be healthy. However in today's society, a lot of our lifestyles are contrary to this. We have higher rates of chronic disease than ever and we're struggling with high rates of anxiety and depression too. But instead of dealing with the root cause, we just turn to doctors to "fix" us with prescriptions. We're not healthy or happy because we're not living our lives by design.
The beliefs of LBD rest on the four pillars of Eat by Design, Move by Design, Think by Design, and Power by Design, which I'll explain here.
EAT. LBD believes in eating whole foods - foods that occur naturally and are the foods that don't have labels at the grocery store. This I agree with for the most part. The most nutritious foods are definitely unprocessed fruits, vegetables, grains, meats and dairy. However, does that mean my pantry is empty? No. I have lots of packaged cereals, pastas, and condiments in there because I believe they can be part of a healthy diet too.
LBD also believes in eating lots of animal protein. Personally I can't say I've ever jumped on the protein obsession that seems to have rocked the world lately. Yes, protein is important. Yes, the Recommended Daily Allowance for protein may be too low (I just recently read a paper about how it might be increased). But does that mean we need to be eating half a cow at every meal? Personally, I don't think so. I think plant protein has a lot of nutritional merit too - it's low in fat, high in fibre, and usually high in lots of vitamins and minerals too*. So I don't think it should be discredited.
|This is the meal of salad and salmon with veggies that we were served at the Life By Design dinner.|
The last eating "rule" that LBD believes in is cutting out grains, legumes, and dairy (but dairy is a gray area). And this is where they lost me. I believe the healthiest diet is one that includes all food groups, provided you have no intolerances or allergies. At the dinner they mentioned that grains have no nutritional value. False. Whole grains are an excellent source of fibre, manganese, selenium, phosphorus, zinc and B vitamins*. They also said that when you eat grains, they leach out nutrients from your body... I can't say I've ever heard of that happening in my 6 years of studying science and nutrition. I'm curious as to what science they're using to back up that statement because until I see it, I don't believe it.
One of my other qualms with this way of eating is that I don't like to treat food purely as fuel. Obviously as a future RD I think eating healthily is extremely important. But the foodie in me believes that food should be fun, delicious, and pleasureful too - and that means enjoying ice cream and pizza on occasion!
So while I definitely think they have some valid points in their philosophy about eating, I think there are some flaws as well. Eating lots of whole foods is great, but you certainly won't see me ditching grains, legumes and dairy anytime soon.
*Based on the nutrient analysis of these foods from the Canadian Nutrient File.
MOVE. I found myself nodding in agreement to everything they said about Move by Design. First of all, they recommend just moving period. Our bodies are made to move. We have limbs, joints, tendons, etc that allow us to move and we should use them.
Second, they think we should lift heavy. I don't think everyone has to start a super intense weight lifting regimen or join CrossFit, but we should be able to carry out every day tasks like lifting a suitcase into your car trunk or taking a box down from a shelf. And since none of our daily lives involve lifting boxes all day, we need to get in that conditioning through some sort of planned weight workouts. Third, LBD believes we should move fast. Agreed. Aerobic fitness is one of the pillars of fitness and it's really important to our heart health!
THINK. This is my favourite aspect of LBD. As I already said, one of their primary beliefs is that we are designed to be extraordinary. So that's how we should think. We need to start believing in the awesomeness of ourselves and stop doubting our abilities. Because as cheesy as it is, the saying that "You can do anything if you put your mind to it" is 100% true! And on that note, LBD also believes that we need to put our minds to something. We need to have a purpose to anchor our lives.
POWER. This one I didn't quite understand. Dr. K is a chiropractor, so he believes that our spines and nerves need to be functioning properly in order for us to function properly. I know zilch about chiropractics, so I can't really form an opinion on this. I'd love to hear some comments from anyone who knows more about the subject though!
Overall, what I liked most about LBD was the Thinking by Design aspect. It really inspired me and I feel like I left the dinner with a slightly different perspective on life.
What do you think of Life by Design? What do you most agree with? Disagree with?
Note: This post is not meant to offend anyone or their chosen lifestyles. These are merely my personal opinions!