Nutrition in the New Year: It’s Not What You Think

Nutrition is such a big part of what we call wellness. We are obsessed with diet! But by now, most of us realize that there is not one recipe for good nutrition (pardon the pun). What works in one country, doesn’t work in others. One dietitian says eat mainly grains. Another says never eat grains. Many hail the benefits of a high-protein diet. Others say too much is bad. Eat vegetables but not the ones high in sugar. Last week Group X said drink 64 ounces of water. Next week Group Y will say drink when thirsty. Milk is bad. Milk is good. Red wine and chocolate have benefits, but not too much, not too often; probably better to just abstain. Our heads spin, and we rebel. We now have a new category of eating disorder: those obsessed with healthy eating, aka orthorexia nervosa.

We want to be healthy, and people tell us that we are what we eat. So what should we do?

Since I’ve been in both camps, “obsessed” and “I don’t care,” I get it. Here’s my educated, rational, yet humble, opinion:

Eat what you believe is good for you.

Feel good about what you eat.

Take a few seconds before you eat to appreciate that you have food and all the people who brought it to you.

Don’t worry when you eat Doritos® or a Snickers® . Eat a “healthier” dinner if you’re worried.

Don’t judge other people on what they eat. Mind your own business (except your kids, they need a little prodding).

Drink water…you decide how much.

Eat a variety of foods.

Eat in moderation, most of the time.

Ignore fear mongers and self-righteous activists.

If you want lasagna. Damn! Eat lasagna. Slow down. Savor it. Feel the texture. Smell the garlic. Turn off the tv and look at your plate.

Here’s a new mantra…

Instead of Stop! Drop! and Roll! when there’s fire, cuz that’s a good one,

“Sit! Breathe! Eat! Slow!”

Stop reading about nutrition, I did, and start enjoying life…and your food.

*Warning! Disclaimer: While I’ve spent 20 years reading the latest on nutrition, I am not a dietitian. I am not a physician. My education focused broadly on adult health and wellness and health policy and administration, not only on nutrition.

photo source: stockimages/

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