Now that I have completed my graduate program for Nutrition Education and Health Promotion, I am ready to help others through sharing this knowledge. Why keep it a secret? Food serves a purpose in preventing disease, treating illness, and even tweaking those minor conditions with which we battle on a daily basis. Food has the power to heal.
I am so excited!
It is often difficult to start a conversation about nutrition without starting a food fight. It is a TOUCHY topic. Talking about food is like discussing religion or politics - everyone has something to say and the various schools of thought tend to uphold rather extreme and polarized points of view. We are sent many mixed messages these days and navigating this realm can be confusing and exhausting. What are we supposed to eat? What should we avoid? Should we go Gluten-free? Vegetarian? Keto? Paleo? Do I need to buy a juicer? A zucchini spiralizer?
Sometimes when we receive too much conflicting information, we undergo what is referred to as analysis paralysis, meaning we stay stagnant. My goal is to break down the scientific research of nutrition and chemical interactions of the human body and translate these principles to easily understood terms, articulating them in a way that we are able to ingest - which will ultimately lead to practical and actionable lifestyle modifications.
For starters, it is important to understand why we receive these messages which seem contradictory. Nutrition science is one of the most confusing and complicated fields of study – it is hard to measure, analyze, and evaluate. Thus, forming conclusive results proves to be very challenging. While there are some hypotheses and theories that can be tested and analyzed in vitro (in the laboratory, using recovery biomarkers through blood plasma assays, etc.), many assessments are in vivo (in real life) through methods of self-report or observation - e.g. epidemiological, cross-sectional, or cohort studies - all of which carry a host of unique complications that threaten the study's internal and external validity.
There is no such thing as a cut-and-dried nutrition plan that will work for every single person on this earth. Besides the fact that every human body is different with their own medical history and DNA, there are many other variables and conditions at play – namely social determinants (family, culture, external stimuli) - affecting health and behavior. We know there are genetic risk factors for disease and we often hear people say “it’s hereditary," but WE have the power to influence whether certain genes are expressed or not. So while we may have a predisposition or susceptibility to X disease, we can actually alter the likelihood of its occurrence. We can manipulate the heritability. One way to do this is through food: every time we decide what to eat we are making a choice in how our life is going to play out.
I do not believe in super rigid or restrictive eating plans because I do not think it is sustainable in the long-run... nor is it very fun. We are humans and we don't live in test tubes under controlled and perfect conditions, and it is more realistic that our diets reflect this sense of malleability. Sometimes strict eating plans do serve a purpose for short-term goals especially in acute situations, but I think most of us are trying to achieve a sense of peace with food; we want to reach a place where we feel that we are contributing to our state of health and lifelong being while still having the freedom to enjoy our lives. We recognize this as a journey, not a final destination.
I am a firm believer in assessing the person as a whole, so as important as food is, in order to get there, I am interested in the entire landscape - mental/emotional health, physical conditions, environmental factors, and spiritual alignment. My writing reflects this philosophy and I hope that you enjoy what is to come.
In the meantime, feel free to ask me anything... general, specific, and/or personal. I am here for you!