Studying nutrition has been one of the best decisions I’ve made. I am a firm believer in “do you what you love and you never have to work a day in your life.” While the workload is demanding and intense, I still love everything about nutrition and health. Sure, I complain from time to time, but at the end of the day I couldn’t imagine majoring in another field.
Being in this major also causes you to think about food. a lot.
As my four years is coming to a close, I have realized that even in a field of health nuts, we all have different views on nutrition and health. And you know what? I love it!
I truly enjoy hearing what others think and believe. Call me crazy, but diversity is the spice of life. If everyone was the same, well then that would be boring. Trust me, my roommate/bestie and I fell into this trap early sophomore year and it caused issues. Now we freely embrace (hopefully) each others quirks. Everyone is going to have different views on food. Its inevitable in this day and age. Food used to be a “safe” dinner topic and now…well not so much.
As I chatted with Shannon, she brought up food values/beliefs. This got me thinking about what are mine? Do I have any at all? Much to my surprise, I do! Three words pretty much came to mind.
Wholesome. Healthy. Happy.
In a nutshell, I believe in the benefits of eating whole, healthy foods. Fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, lean meats, whole grains and low fat dairy make up a bulk of my diet. Not because I am an in the health field, but because I enjoy these foods as well. I do think they are extremely beneficial for our health, as I have learned during my undergrad years. You can’t deny science people. At the same time, I like foods that are “food for the soul.” Constant denial of certain foods/food groups only sets you up for failure. I have seen with many of my clients when they avoid foods they like, which might not be considered the healthiest, and end up going overboard. Do I enjoy foods that are not the healthiest choices? Well yeah – I’m not going to deny freshly baked cookies, red velvet treats or rich, cheesy dishes for the sake of health. For me, I wouldn’t be happy.
Many media RDs preach moderation, and that is something I truly believe in. Everything fits in a healthy lifestyle and I don’t think any one food or nutrient should be avoided. (Unless you are allergic – then avoid that stuff like plague). Carbs are not the enemy. Fat alone does not make us fat. Sugar in excess is harmful to health, but a few squares of chocolate or a cookie after dinner isn’t going to kill you.
Is my food value similar to yours? Maybe, maybe not. And that’s okay.
- You want to eat all organic? Cool – I applaud you (and slightly jealous because organic meats are my favorite but pricy)
- Vegetarian for ethical reasons? You go girlfriend!
- Vegan/raw? Sure – just make sure you get some B12 ;)
For more information check out the Academy’s stance on moderation.