It’s all about YOU!

It’s March again. It’s always been March. It will always be March. Hasn’t it felt like that thanks to the pandemic? But it really is March and it is Dietitians of Canada’s Nutrition Month. The theme this year is Good for You – Dietitians help You find Your Healthy.

In other words, it’s about YOU and YOUR healthy.

You’re not alone, though, if in your pursuit of good health, you look to sources like the internet and social media for direction. After all, our computers and devices have been a major part of how we have been communicating through Covid. But we’re in the midst of an infodemic – an epidemic of too much information including false or misleading information in digital and physical environments. According to the World Health Organization, it is causing much confusion and also leads to mistrust in health authorities.

During this infodemic, when it comes to nutrition, there’s certainly no shortage of self-styled experts. There are those promoting all kinds of dubious supplements while others tell you of the poisons or toxins in your food and how to detox and then there are also many who simply show their gorgeous-looking food or their beautiful bodies that you too can attain just by following their advice.

Should you be following a keto diet, doing intermittent fasting or going vegan? There is a lot of noise out there about what’s best for you.

It’s time to stop listening and get back to basics – your basics. That means looking at what you like, what you want and can do and what works for you. That’s you, not your friend, sibling, neighbour or co-worker.

Healthy eating is about making you feel good today and for your future. It’s not about adding stress into your life.

This year’s Nutrition Month centres on the idea that healthy eating looks different for everyone. We may come from varied cultures and have different traditions. There may be financial constraints, time crunches or individual dietary needs. As well, all of us don’t possess the same skill sets when it comes to food preparation, never mind the food styling that many work on to make their food Instagram worthy. Access to healthy options can also be limited during Covid or on a regular basis.

We’re all different and we need to respect and embrace these key diversities.

Throughout my years in practice doing nutrition counselling, there has been one thing that I have been asked to do by countless individuals – something that I almost always refused to do and that is provide someone with a menu of what they should be eating. I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve heard, “Just tell me what to eat every day and I will just follow it.” And when I refuse, I’m told, “It’s alright. I can do it. I want to eat well so I will do whatever you tell me to do.”

Now I might write out a day with examples of various foods but come up with a menu on my own?

Absolutely not.

I will, though, spend time with the individual helping them come up with various options that they like and develop menus that are in keeping with their health needs, food preferences, cooking skills, financial means, cultural background and such. If they have a family, I will ask what family members will eat as there shouldn’t be separate meals, unless there are extenuating circumstances like allergies to a specific food at a certain meal.

Dietitians, in spite of what many think, don’t tell people what to eat. We try to translate the science of nutrition into what you put on your plates, not what we put on ours. If you come across someone who is adamant about exactly what you’re eating, I would tell you to run for the hills!

If you do need some help in finding YOUR healthy, consider consulting a dietitian. These days, most of us are available for virtual consultations. You can find one at dietitians.ca.

Get more information about Nutrition Month 2021 here.
 

 

Tags: ,

Categories: Nutrition Month

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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