Working in the healthcare field is a funny thing.
It seems as though the mainstream solution (as far as nutrition goes) for many disease states can be something as follows - " Lose the weight, follow the meal plan, and see me in 3 months." With some added fluff in the middle.
And that's not to say this is a wrong approach. To some people this works. But it's not my approach. It just seems so blah. So black and white. So boring. You are more than a meal plan and I think its 100000% possible to live a life full of all foods and find health. I think becoming healthy actually means finding yourself.
Because to me health isn't just a number. It's not a lab value. And its certainly not your weight. Health is not just about what you're eating or how you're moving. It's also about what you're thinking, saying, and feeling. And this my friend, is the journey.
Our world has come to a point where "healthy" means gluten free, paleo, dairy free, low carb, high fiber... yada yada yada. But what we have really done is take out all the enjoyment and pleasure eating has to offer. And without that, health to me can't be fully achieved. Because you know what's not fed with a diet prescription like that? Your heart. Your mind. Your soul!
I can't tell you how happy it makes me when clients write me after appointments saying things like "Thank you for not taking away my favorite foods", or "I had french toast for the first time in years and I loved it", and "I'm so excited to pack my lunch for tomorrow." Ah, it hits home! It inspires me to continue working with you, for you, and to be a small voice to help change the norm. I want to prove that anyone and everyone can find so much joy in eating, based on your own individual preferences. And you deserve it. You deserve to live a life where you feel satisfied (and not judged) by what you eat.
And I am aware how bonkers this approach can sound (especially coming from a dietitian) to some. I don't want you to be misunderstood. I am by no means prescribing cookies to solve all the problems. I am not saying sugar is "healthy" and is the next superfood. The point I am trying to make is to observe your relationship with these foods. I think that's where the problem lies more than the carbohydrate content in the item itself. It’s far more unhealthy for your mind and body to have near panic attacks every time you’re around sugar than if you were to just eat the cookie. Ya know?
This post has been a long time coming. I always talk to my clients and people I meet about how my approach to building a positive food relationship and working towards Intuitive Eating before even fixing the nutritional value of your meals is more important to me. And this needs some explaining because it just isn't the mainstream thought. But it can be!
What can you do to help change the mainstream thoughts? Be real. Find a way to compliment your friends, family, and strangers that doesn’t involve their body size. Don't always feel the need to engage in diet culture. Watch your words, especially around children. Don’t fuel the diet fire!
Be more mindful. Practice eating not just for your body, but for your mind and your soul. Eat the muffin when you crave it. Practice body positivity by not talking down on yourself. Move your body when you feel like it. This change in perspective I believe is the hard work of real "lifestyle" changes. Cheers to that!