Kitchen Hacks: Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming A Dietitian
This is for anyone studying nutrition, interested in studying, or those looking for an idea of what goes on in the mind of a dietitian. The process itself can be overwhelming. And the practice of learning about nutrition is a funny one. I found that the more I learned, the less rigid my own intake became. Why? Because I learned that there is no such thing as perfect.
Today, I'm sharing things I wish I knew before becoming a dietitian:
A "perfect" diet doesn't exist, don't pressure yourself or others to subscribe to it.
Nutrition is incredibly personal, it is more than a meal plan or elimination of a food group. It depends on countless factors, often out of our control. What works for me may not work for you, and that's okay. It's lame, but we are unique snowflakes (cringe), that have unique needs. Honour yourself by doing what's best for you, even if it's not what Karen is doing.
Throw away strict "rules".
Be flexible, and remember that eating can be an important social activity, and flexibility with your eating preferences and habits can help you find joy in meal times, time spent with loved ones, and leave you satisfied both emotionally and physically. So, go ahead, celebrate that birthday (but remember, not every day is your birthday). Rules can make us fearful of foods, and set rigid expectations that can do more harm than good.
Small, long term goals are the way to go.
It's easy to demand "go (insert food group here)-free!, give up your favourite coffee order! no more this or that!", but those often only work short term. Set realistic goals that can last a lifetime, no matter how small they seem. Whether it is "eat 1/2 a pizza, with a side salad in lieu of a full pizza", or "mix honey into your plain yogurt instead of buying pre-sweetened yogurt", remember the small changes add up, and expecting change in a week is unrealistic. It's better to improve by 1% every day, and overtime, those add up!
Your health is not defined by a number on the scale
One of the only times I ask about weight is to determine if there's been a big change recently. I don't always pay attention to the number. There are dozens of numbers we can look at when it comes to health, weight is just one of them. Weight does NOT equal health.
Look into the science behind those flashy ads, claims, and buzz words.
Everyone seems to be a nutrition professional these days. A simple Google search often leads people to believe that they have the answers to cure what ails you. Take a deeper look and approach claims with caution, if it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. Also, we don't all need to be gluten free.