Many of my clients have questions about what they read online, heard on TV, or were told by a well-meaning friend or colleague. In an era of information overload, it can become difficult to sort through the studies and headlines. For many people it often comes down to using “common sense" or a gut feeling, but that just means it's a personal choice or subjective decision.
If you're not sure, seek out the experts in their respective fields (I don't ask my dentist to dye my hair after all). Health professionals should be using current research and evidence in their practices. You should be examining your habits and definitions. This brings me to the all important concept of mindfulness. It's time to be in the moment, not on auto-pilot. Mindfulness can be applied to many parts of your life, health and wellness.
As we head into colder temperatures and seasonal gatherings, take time to reflect and challenge yourself to make change. Change is hard, but aren't you worth it?
First, think about what being healthy means to you? I like to remind my clients of the World Health Organization (WHO)'s definition of health: Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Nutrition is just one piece of the puzzle that contributes to your health.
Some people choose to journal for a week or so to help them focus and then reflect back on what they've recorded. Whatever you choose to do, start paying attention. Think about how lenient you've been with yourself. How often do you have a food “treat?" Is it really a special occasion or is it part of your routine? What does moderation mean to you? Have you been having less healthy foods in increasing frequency and portions? Are you justifying your choices based on your lifestyle or environment?
At times I feel that a client is wanting me to tell them they can eat ice cream every day - they want someone to say it's okay, even though they know better. There are also many “healthier alternatives" nowadays, but that often means people are still eating lots of highly processed foods (a healthier chip, how about no chips). Don't get caught up in the marketing, learn to read labels and ingredient lists, pay attention to how you feel, pay attention to what you put into your body, and stop trying to look for loop holes or easy ways out.
Stephanie Langdon, RD
Something Nutrishus Counselling & Coaching