“Why do you have to be a dietitian?” my 8-year-old daughter asked me a few weeks ago after I offered vegetables and fruit as a snack. I know—shocker! I said nothing and just smiled. But it had me thinking about all of the people this past year that have been searching for the perfect diet. This year has been very strange to me as a registered dietitian nutritionist. Americans continue to be confused about what is good to eat and what should we avoid—not just for weight loss, but for every other physical ailment as well.
I recently read an article written about the Paleo diet versus the vegetarian diet. The tone of it was along the lines of, “I’m right, you’re wrong and this is why.” From both sides. So much anger, frustration and defensiveness. You know what? All parties made good points. Because they are looking out for themselves. And that’s ok.
What I mean is this: each one of us is so unique that even twins tolerate foods differently. In my family of five, there are few foods that we all love and adore. We still get along though…most of the time!
As the New Year approaches us and dieting is at an all-time high, I challenge you do think about the following:
- Love your body and respect it enough to nourish it with a variety of foods.
- Enjoy food. Enjoy meals. Enjoy eating with people. Talk to each other about anything (except diets!) while eating. Sit at a table
- Base meals around a huge variety of vegetables, seasonal fruits, whole grains, lean protein foods and a bit of fat too. Enjoy sweets once in a while—or even a small amount each day!
- Move your body in a way that is makes you happy. Is all this easier said than done? Maybe.
These tips are the reason I wrote a book this past year. Enjoying meals together that are delicious and nutritious. So why do I have to be a dietitian? Well, because I know food is a big fat deal and I want everyone to enjoy it---just not too much of it! Happy New Year!