A funny thing sometimes happens when people see me in the grocery store. Most times as I approach a familiar face we exchange nods and brief hellos…perhaps even a little banter about the weather. Other times though, I see the uncomfortable look of someone who has just been caught doing something they shouldn’t. This look is often followed by some kind of an explanation as to why their cart contains chips, cookies or candy as well as a rundown of their most recent discovery of a new healthy salad or soup recipe. While it is somewhat entertaining to listen to, I am quick to let them off the hook. The truth of the matter is, when our daily diet is anchored in whole foods, there is some wiggle room for less than ideal foods that we can enjoy guilt free.
Since so many have made confessions to me, I thought it was high time I made a few of my own.
Confessions of a Nutritionist:
- I have only ever cooked with tofu once. I’ve eaten it more often than that and enjoyed it but I have only ever created a dish with it once.
- I don’t like kale chips. I’ve tried, I really have.
- The smell of Mary Brown’s Fried Chicken makes me salivate almost uncontrollably.
- I have been known to eat dark chocolate while making supper. Don’t tell my kids though, because I wouldn’t let them do that. It would ruin their dinner.
- Eating healthy isn’t always easy for me either. Sometimes I want to eat chips at 9:45 p.m. right before bed and straight from the bag. Miss Vicki’s and a glass of wine are one of my favourite combos. Yep, their marketing campaign totally worked on me!
Eating healthy and what that means to me has evolved over the years. In the beginning it was hard and I felt like I was missing out on some of my favourite foods. As time went on though, it did get easier and continues to do so. I have on several occasions eaten something that used to be a favourite of mine only to discover that my taste buds have changed and it really doesn’t taste very good anymore. Foods that I use to get excited about eating are now a little, ‘meh.’ A few years ago, I tasted a, ‘Lik-a-Stick,’ again for the first time in years. I used to eat one of those every Friday during my husband’s (then boyfriend) baseball season. It was a bit of a tradition with the girls. When I gave it a whirl again, I was honestly surprised by how much I didn’t like it anymore.
One of the big things that I discuss with clients is untangling food and guilt as well. We tend to pair food and guilt quite often. Do any of these statements sound familiar? “It was a rough week at work, I deserved that cake.” Or, we feel the need to justify the fact that we ate something less than ideal. “I earned those wings and beer at the gym today.” The truth of the matter is this. We were blessed with taste buds for a reason. Our food is meant to be enjoyed. Our food choices don’t define us as, ‘good,’ or ‘bad,’ people. Our food choices do however, contribute to our overall good health. If we are consistently making food choices that are highly processed and low in beneficial nutrients, it is going to impact our health, our energy levels and the way we feel.
The point of this post is to remind you that eating well is so important but it doesn’t define my opinion of the person you are, and it shouldn’t define your opinion of yourself either. Eat well to feel well – not to impress anyone else!
Okay…last confession. I have in the past, ‘strategically,’ packed my cart while grocery shopping in such a way as to hide certain packages from plain site. I guess that I’m still a work in progress too!