It’s National Nutrition Month!
A few weeks ago, I had a client who entered my office in considerable distress. She’d had a number of stressful life changes in the last month and hadn’t remembered to eat what she considered a “proper meal” in days. As she described how her regular salads had fallen by the wayside and how she missed lunch because she was so wrapped up in her work she wouldn’t notice a fire alarm if it had gone off in her ear, I could hear the anxiety in her voice and see it in her body language. For her, food had become an added worry in a long list.
Eating is a challenge for many people. Not only are there more foods to choose from than ever before, we’re constantly bombarded with “experts” who tell us how to eat, what we should always eat, or never eat, or eat only in certain amounts, or in certain combinations, or at certain times when the planets align in a cosmic conga dance. I’m exhausted just reading that last sentence.
It’s no wonder people feel confused. And that’s why this year’s National Nutrition Month theme is like a breath of delicious-scented air:
“‘Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day,’ encourages personalized healthy eating styles and recognizes that food preferences, lifestyle, cultural and ethnic traditions and health concerns all impact individual food choices.”
What does National Nutrition Month mean to me? It means enjoying a variety of foods that YOU enjoy, in a manner in which YOU feel comfortable, and in a way that helps YOU feel your best. And yes, a registered dietitian can help guide you as you navigate the thorny wilderness of information and find Your Way, Every Day.
What of my client? We brainstormed some methods to take away eating stress, as well as finding no-brainer ways to enjoy the foods she likes and that help her feel her best. I could hear the anxiety leave her voice as we spoke. And that was wonderful.
Q: What does “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day” mean to you?
I always think it’s so funny when a new study comes out almost every week that’s basically different variations of – if you eat whole, unprocessed foods you’ll be healthier. Um. Obviously.
So however you can get that done is the perfect way to celebrate! Love the message!
Love the message!
For me eating right means lots of greens, protein, some cheese, and a little chocolate or a small raw dessert. It also means enjoying food – from picking it out at the Farmers’ Market, to cooking it, and finally enjoying it as a family.
What a great eating philosophy! 🙂
Good question! I used to think there was one correct way of eating and tried to follow strict rules but obviously that’s just silly and stressful. Nowadays I try to eat intuitively and meet my body’s needs while also enjoying the pleasure of eating 🙂
I’m so glad to hear it, Lucy! 🙂
It’s often more important to talk about the real reason why someone might not be eating as healthy to prevent disease, as they should, before even talking about the disease (or their diet) at all. I had a client in my office yesterday who had diabetes and a recent A1C of 8. She didn’t seem concerned about it at all, but as I was talking to her I realized I couldn’t educate her on her diabetes, I first had to help her eat for IBS, and get better sleep. So many foods were causing her GI distress, plus she wasn’t sleeping well. With those two issues, she would never be able to focus on eating to control diabetes! Sounds like you did something similar with your patient. Focus on the anxiety, and how to not let that control her food intake…or her life!
Happy NNM Jessie!!
I love the theme for this month!
I love that there is an emphasis on still including the foods that we have grown up loving and enjoying!