I had some family visiting from Saskatchewan last weekend. As always with company, we tend to enjoy a little more food, alcohol, and other fun treats. Coming back from lunch after a nice long walk, they decided ice cream sounded like a good idea. I found myself just going along for the ride, unsure if I was going to partake in the treat or not. The next thing I knew, there’s a soft serve ice cream cone in my hand from McDonald’s.
Now, I’ll give you some backstory so you can appreciate just how jaw dropping a moment this was for me. First of all, I hadn’t been to a McDonald’s LITERALLY, in at least 20 years. Never have I EVER taken my daughter (who is almost 11) to a McD’s. I am generally pretty conscious of my food choices, where I buy food, the ingredients, etc. If I eat ice cream, it is typically dairy free and made from coconut milk, or at the very least, it is dairy based, with natural ingredients, and most definitely NOT from McDonald’s! But over the past year, I’ve been consciously working on my borderline obsessive behaviour around food. And when situations such as this arise, it takes me a moment to calm down my reactive thoughts and tell myself that it is OK. I won’t die, it’s probably going to taste delicious, and I need to just let go, and enjoy the moment.
I used to feel like I had to eat 100% “perfect” ALL the time because I’m a nutritionist. That’s A LOT of pressure! I’d be embarrassed if someone saw me with anything in my cart at the grocery store that wasn’t completely natural and healthy. I felt as though I needed to explain it. “Oh, it’s for my daughter.” “Well, I’m having company and they like to eat chips…” OR, it would go the other way. I’d run into people I knew and they’d be embarrassed by what they were getting. As if I was going to judge them! So I certainly never would have wanted to be seen, let alone publicly admitting through my blog, that I’d been to McDonald’s. BUT, I think this message is SUPER important. My passion now, is to help women get over their obsession with dieting and eating “clean”, to love their lives, and embrace the moment.
People assume that because I’m a nutritionist I must eat a 100% organic, non-GMO, local, free range, grass fed, “all natural”, sugar free diet. Well let me set the record straight my friend. I eat chips, I eat ice cream (as you now are well aware of, lol), I eat chocolate (EVERYDAY), I eat bread, I eat cheese, I drink coffee, I chew gum with artificial sugar! (Cue the GASP…) Does that make me any less of a nutritionist? Heck NO. And quite honestly, if you think it does, then we wouldn’t be the right fit anyway! I actually think it makes me more relate-able, more real, and a BETTER nutritionist.
My goal is not to restrict people, put them on regimented food plans, count calories, and cut out all fun foods. My goal as a nutritionist is to empower people to make decisions for themselves that feel right for their individual needs. Trust me, I’ve done the whole diet/restrict/binge cycle a million times, and it DOES NOT WORK.
I don’t believe in cheat days anymore. I don’t believe in doing “penance” for the treats I had the day before. Balance is what I strive for. I eat at home 99% of the time, I cook my own food, and I focus on nutrient density and fueling my body with what it wants and needs. So if I want some play foods in my day, I’m going to bring them in! That’s what brings balance and pleasure into our lives. NOT restriction and rules.
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In Wellness, Krista