Grace for Food Choices

We need a lot of grace when it comes to food. As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), I often work with people who are confused about what to eat. Nutrition is not rocket-science, though it has become more complicated than it needs to be.

People may wonder why I don’t discuss major nutrition concepts on my blog. While I may decide to share an occasional recipe, there are several reasons not to discuss nutrition here.

1. I am not a fan of unsolicited advice, and hence, I don’t like to provide it. If you would like some input on what you should eat, I will certainly point you in the right direction (and suggest you connect with an RDN who has access to your personal medical records).

2. It is unwise to assume everyone has the same needs or goals—or that we all need to eat the same foods. I prefer to make nutrition personal. As a professional, I tailor each session to the individual, helping each person reach their goals (which may differ from my goals from them). I may tell several people to eat the same type of food—but the amount, method of preparation, and timing might be different. So, it would be difficult to meet anyone’s goals while providing general statements on a blog.

3. Each food topic is complex. I could spend several pages discussing background, pros and cons, and possible solutions. I don’t have the time nor is that my intent for this blog.

4. Food trends change often in the food world. So, my post may not be relevant for long. This week cucumbers are good, next week they might be less desirable. (Fickle pickles!!) Research, politics and culture can cause change to happen overnight. For the most part, that is not interesting to me. But eating well is in season every day!

5. There are many nutrition myths, and in the length of my typical post, I probably won’t convince anyone to change their thinking. So, I’d prefer to focus on other things.

6. I will always love nutrition. But after Dave died, I took a huge step back. I have spent many years in healthcare. I have seen several worst case scenarios. During the year that Dave was sick, each of those worst case scenarios ALL seemed to manifest symptoms on Dave’s body. I was thankful to be able to advocate on his behalf. But, I lost my taste for it all, and it took some time for the passion to return.

7. I love teaching people how to eat well (in person) but here, I am happy to write about life, fun food facts and metaphors. I don’t need to add to all the confusion. I am focused on giving and living in grace!

Fruit baskets in marketplace

I will share just a few thoughts, however:

Good Foods vs Bad Foods
Foods do not have morals! They don’t provide a moral benefit upon consumption.

Example: I am not a good person if I eat an apple, nor a bad person if I eat chocolate cake. I think both are delicious, but on a deserted island, please give me the cake! Precisely because it has more calories, fat and flavor! 😉

I like to think of the health or nutritional benefits to each food and start there.

Fitness vs Health
First, they are not the same thing.

Second, you can be really fit and still be unhealthy (physically, mentally, emotionally, and/or spiritually).

Know the difference for you as an individual.

Organic vs Conventional, Whole vs Processed
These topics cause a lot of debate, which is not necessarily bad—but in my opinion that leads to more division and even hostility at times. Not cool…

By all means, please buy, prepare and eat the best quality food you can afford. But, don’t overspend your budget and go broke. Be healthy. Be realistic.

Read labels and make choices that meet your goals.

Eat in season, buy in bulk, clip coupons, get a crockpot, join a co-op…do whatever you can!

Food vs Supplements
I am a fan of food first, and then supplements if warranted. But once again, do what it takes to reach YOUR goals.

On Sugar, Fat, Cholesterol, Sodium, Moderate Protein, Low Carb, Low Fat, Vegetarian, Omnivore, etc
It is your responsibility to steward your health. If knowledge is power, prevention is key.

Food choices are one piece to the puzzle. Learn some solid cooking skills.

Eat a wide variety of foods–and eat what you like!

Food Journals and Fitness Trackers
Are they the end-all be-all of tools? No. Are they helpful? Yes, if used in the right context.

I love using both a food journal and a fitness tracker, as they provide helpful feedback and accountability. I may be a nerd…but I think they are fun! 🙂

Final Thoughts
One of my healthcare friends likes to say, “You’re a one-rat study. What works for you, might not work for the next person.”

Listen to your body. Know what makes YOU feel best. It may or may not match your initial beliefs. So be open to trial and error, change and new tastes.

Set goals for yourself, and revisit them on a regular basis.

Seek professional input as needed. Let me know if I can help. 🙂

**I may update or add to this down the road. But that’s it for now!**

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