In this week’s Ask the Nutritionist, Nonie De Long offers suggestions for changing the mindset of readers who want a healthier diet and lifestyle.
Dear readers, at this time of year it is usual for people to start thinking about the past year and planning for the next. I love this practice in my private life because it helps me evaluate and correct course if necessary. I can check to make sure that my values align with my actions and that I am moving toward the goals I set for myself. It’s exciting to visualize what’s coming next year and how different I’ll be at the same time next year. And if we are to live deliberately, I suggest that it is absolutely necessary.
Consistently, people also assess their health at this time of year. This leads to decisions about dieting, usually for weight and appearance and sometimes for better health. But these decisions almost always mean forgoing bland diets in favor of bland, restrictive ones. But I will let you in on a little secret of working in the nutrition industry to save a lot of effort, time and money this year.
Do not do it.
Dieting as a New Year’s resolution does not work. Dieting does not work. It prepares you for the cycle of diet-related eating disorders that no one in their right mind would want to engage in. So don’t do that. Do not determine the decision to diet!
If we want to change our health — really, really, and always — what we need isn’t a new diet. Or a diet called “lifestyle change.” What we need is to change the way of thinking.
If we want to do something forever, it must not be restrictive. It should not be boring and boring. It should not be bland and repetitive. If we want to eat a healthy diet for life, what we need is to get excited about healthy foods. And nothing will do that for us more powerfully than learning how to grow and cook delicious foods at home.
Kids gardening at school come home all excited about vegetables their parents may never have used. Have you seen this in your child? Likewise, adults get irritated when they go to a friend’s house (remember when that wasn’t a crime?) and sample a new dish that excites the senses. The food is incredible and the options are limitless. And when we get excited to play such food, we become passionate about quality. And good food means nutrient-dense food. And when we eat like this, everything changes.
A body with a lot of nutrients does not crave sugars for energy. You don’t need them! He can fast comfortably without any cravings! A body with organic, nutrient-rich and biologically suitable foods is not riddled with inflammation and pain. A body nourished in this way has a strong immune system and ages without the inflammatory diseases of our society. Joints move without pain. Muscles recover from work quickly. The brain recovers from trauma without being attached to it. The digestive system works as it is supposed to. The flu is just the flu. Our minds keep their sharpness.
A person enthusiastic about such food does not come home and hates to prepare dinner before falling exhausted in front of the TV. He/she has a plan for dinner to make sure ingredients are on hand and preparation is done and he/she whips up something healthy with ease. Children are cheerful and meals change.
Remember the joy of food? number? Then you should take a cooking class or a gardening class, not start another diet.
Unless you have a food allergy, food intolerance, metabolic disorder, or a chronic health condition, your eating need not be restricted. Good guidelines. Learn which options are the healthiest and learn how to include them more. this is healthy. If you fall into the categories that require some kind of restriction to rebalance your body, don’t do it from a diet point of view. This will make it difficult to be successful! Do it from an exploratory point of view.
Yes, it makes a difference! It makes a huge difference if you want to do it for life and keep the weight off. Or encourage children to choose healthy foods. How we mentally frame things makes a huge difference to how passionate we are about them and how successful our efforts are.
Think of the following two statements. Think about them and see how they make you feel.
- I will never eat sugar again!
- I will find healthy recipes that I love as much as I love sugar!
Which one made you want to take action?
Now, if you want to amplify that even more, consider a salad, meatloaf, or any stark health food you’ve had before that was absolutely delicious. something you love. Nothing was surprising. Now start training your brain to connect: healthy food can be absolutely delicious! You are now on your way to reaching your goals, without any other diet decision!
Want to take it a step further? Get a small growing kit and grow your own herbs to use in your new recipes. Or sign up for a healthy cooking class. Or contact local farmers to see how they can help you buy better food for your family. Sign up for a community garden in the spring. Get window boxes and heritage seeds to start growing edible plants and flowers. Join the seed savers group. Find out when Saturday is closest to you. Join a gardening group. Start sharing healthy recipes with your closest friends/relatives.
Now you have a decision that will have a profound and lasting impact on your health! Here’s the exciting new healthy food that awaits you this year! I hope you’ll join me for a cooking class to share the excitement of food.
As always, readers can send their questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me online at hopenotdope.ca. Happy and healthy new year!