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?