Well hello friends!
So nice to see you again! It feels good to be back in the blogging seat after an extended whirlwind of a hiatus. Where have I been you ask? Well, I finished up my Bachelor of Science in Nutrition, became a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) after a life changing year at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition (CSNN), cooked up a storm online with Meghan Telpner and the Academy of Culinary Nutrition, took a short business program to help set up my nutrition consulting business, and became the Nutrition Manager at a long-term care home. In-between all that, I’ve also been working on my own health and wellness. Yes, even nutritionists have to work at their own health!
Part of that journey has been figuring out what to eat. I know that sounds kind of silly for a nutritionist to say; I more so mean finding the overall diet that is most optimal for my individual body. We don’t all eat the exact same way, and for good reason – we’re all biochemically different and as such, have unique nutritional needs! I’ve modified my diet several times over the last few years, but have not been able to pin-point a style of eating that makes me feel top-notch. Paleo? Plant-forward? Everything in moderation? Atkins? Vegetarian? Vegan? Keto? Each of our individual diets fits under a certain diet umbrella, which has left me thinking, “why do we eat the things we eat?”
I recently answered this question for my own diet, after unintentionally becoming vegan. After realizing I had become vegan, I also realized that I had been feeling great since adapting this new way of eating. I’m not sure if it’ll be a permanent thing, or if it’s just short-term, but for now I’m feeling super awesome, so I’m going to keep it up! I mean, who doesn’t want to feel awesome everyday?!?
Why else might we eat certain foods? Here are a few scenarios:
- On the weekend I indulged in some strawberry shortcake in celebration of Canada Day, because it tasted good…really good!
- I regularly eat large amounts of plant foods for their nutritional value.
- While on vacation, I packed several protein bars because they were a convenient snack.
- I’m not afraid to include higher-fat items like avocados or nuts in my diet, because they’re satiating.
These are just a few examples of why I choose to eat the things I do. Other reasons people may turn to certain foods include:
- Appetite (e.g. Most of us regularly eat three meals a day to satisfy that growl in our stomachs!)
- Availability (e.g. Watermelon is primarily enjoyed in the summer months, because it’s not regularly available throughout the year)
- Energy (e.g. Eating a protein-rich breakfast can fuel your body with the energy it needs to start the day)
- Culture (e.g. Some cultures avoid various foods due to availability or personal beliefs)
- Religion (e.g. Some religions also choose to avoid certain foods for spiritual reasons)
- Values/beliefs (e.g. People may choose a vegan diet for environmental reasons, like animal rights)
- Economy (e.g. Many people purchase packaged food because they find it cheaper than fresh, whole foods)
- Emotional comfort (e.g. Movies often like to portray girls eating a carton of ice cream for emotional support after a relationship break up!)
- Habit (e.g. Someone may have a cup of tea every morning, because that’s what they’ve always done)
- Social (e.g. At the bar you might decide to have a drink because all your friends are having a drink)
- Advertising (e.g. On your way home from work you may see an ad promoting the newest menu choice from a restaurant, and decide to eat out for dinner)
- Weight/body image (e.g. Weight lifters may go heavy on the protein to help build muscle, while people looking to lose weight may increase their consumption of lighter foods, like vegetables).
And here we thought eating was a simple as putting food on the end of a fork and into our mouths! Technically it IS that simple, but as physician Mark Hyman reminds us, it’s WHAT we put on the fork that matters:
Think about it – why do YOU eat what you eat?