Many questions I get asked as a dietitian are VERY hard to answer. Everyone wants a quick fix, a perfect answer or black or white response. The fact is, nutrition isn’t any of these things. I try to be blunt and steer clients clear of fads, rumors and “cause and effect” statements…”IF you eat kale, you WILL be skinny”…wrong. But it’s also difficult to give them a wishy washy answer, in hopes they understand what you are getting at. So here is my best shot at what nutrition means to me through my education (BS Dietetics) and personal beliefs.
There are certain components to what make up food and what we, as humans, need to digest to live. Fat, Carbohydrates, Protein, Vitamins, Minerals etc. These are the pieces to the puzzle of eating. Many people think adjusting the ratio of these nutrients are the key to being healthy or not, or being skinny or not, or having the most energy or not. In my experience, there’s a fourth piece of the puzzle that needs to be addressed…HAPPINESS! When I don’t stress about every food decision I make, I feel fitter, stronger, skinnier and more confident. Weird right?! Sometimes I eat something because it’s absolutely delicious. Other times I eat something because I know it contains essential nutrients, and half the time I eat something because I don’t want it to go to waste and I don’t even like it!
So as a dietitian, what do I think the best diet is??? ALL OF THEM. Gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, Paleo, Atkins, high fat, low fat, high protein, Shakeology (since everyone else is talking about it), Mediterranean, Soy milk, light meat, dark meat, coconut oil, red wine, dark chocolate, organic, warm water vs. cold it goes on and on. They all have a purpose, but in my opinion should not be used alone. If you eat in a way that contains a piece of each of these, or in a sense “rotate” through them, you really can’t go wrong. As you’ve probably noticed from my blog already and the foods I have posted below, there isn’t really ONE way that I eat. I eat all colors of the rainbow and a variety of food groups, including processed junk at times. If you tell yourself you can never have these things because you are only a “clean eater” you’re setting yourself up for disaster. I drink regular and Soymilk, I eat vegetables and dessert, I eat natural foods and functional foods, sometimes I eat the cake in the breakroom, sometimes I say no. I eat meatless some days, other days I eat bacon…twice. I drink diet soda occasionally, I try to drink water more often. Don’t be the person on an A, B or C diet! Explore all that’s out there, cover all bases and consider not putting all your coins in one pot so to speak.
BOTTOM LINE: YES…there are general recommendations for nutrition backed up by solid evidence aka consuming excessive saturated fats may eventually lead to heart disease. Does this mean you should NEVER eat them…no. Eat foods in moderation. Exercise regularly. Try new “diets”. Be happy.
Whew! Feel free to comment 🙂 How do YOU eat?