I have a secret
I have a secret….. I don’t like kale chips. I know, I know, they are so nutritionally excellent, they are a great alternative to regular potato chips, they are a good way to get kids to eat kale, I know it all. But I just don’t like them. And after last night's umteenth time making them, following yet another recipe, I have decided to accept this fact and move on. Not all healthy foods are for everyone and that is okay. This doesn’t mean that I am destined to eat trans fat filled potato chips for life, it just means that I won’t be eating the healthy alternative either.
This all seems fairly simple but you would be surprised at how much this concept is not always clear to people when they find out that I am a nutritionist. There is something about learning this information that makes people do the following :
tell me everything they ate yesterday
ask me how many calories are in the beer they are drinking
tell me what they just don't like (ENTER HEALTHY ALTERNATIVE HERE)
Assume that I do not need/want to know what you ate yesterday if I just met you and you are not a client of mine and that while I may know how many calories are in the beer you are drinking, its not a party trick of mine to blurt it out on command. However, when people tell me they do not like brown rice or just can’t get into soy milk, I feel the need to discuss further. I strongly believe that if you force yourself to eat a healthy alternative, you may be able to do this for awhile but this is not sustainable. Cabbage soup diet anyone? Trying new foods is commendable and I will always recommend this but forcing yourself to eat chia seed pudding twice a day simply because it is healthy is not the route I would advise.
I have found that my approach is unique and I attribute this to my road to becoming a nutritionist. I can’t say I knew at a young age that this would eventually be my profession. If someone told me that I would be counseling people on their diets for a living, I would probably question this. But then I gained 30 lbs of unwanted weight after a lifetime of never being concerned about my weight, diet or exercise plan. I was introduced to a nutritionist and almost immediately knew this was what I was meant to do. She not only taught me how to eat better but provided the self confidence that I needed in a time when that was lacking. I learned from her that I wanted to provide for other people that feeling of self empowerment and pride. (Unfortunately, I also learned a bit about obsessing and eating foods I didn’t like but forced myself to like because it was my prescribed diet.) Hence, I bring with me a different approach. An approach that involves knowledge, empowerment, choices, and confidence. In short, I will most likely always tell you to try the kale chips but will never tell you that your happiness depends on them and depending on my mood, I may admit to you that I also don’t like them:)
Acknowledgements: Apologies to my four year old daughter who tried another batch of kale chips. We can stick to apples, honey. And thank you to my husband for eating all the failed kale chips proving the point that kale chips can be a healthy alternative to some folks.