Nutrition - 3 Things to Think About
By Melissa Sher
Let’s talk about nutrition! I am not going to tell you what not to eat, how long it should take you to get six pack abs “in the kitchen” or that one macronutrient is the only one that’s actually good for you. Instead, let’s talk about my three personal mantras on nutrition.
Always have the darkest of chocolate on hand.
When in doubt, take a drink of water.
If someone tells you one food holds the secret to health - keep one eye open.
I’ll explain. Let’s go in order:
Am I really telling you to carry chocolate around on your person always? I mean, yes and no. Do I always have chocolate on my person? Define always… ;) To be totally transparent, yes, generally, I have chocolate in my work bag or at home. But this point is not about the chocolate per se. The point is that rigidity in nutrition almost never works. I have pretty much dialed in, over many years of work, what foods work best for me. Sugar is not anyone’s best friend, but saying to never eat sugar is also not realistic. So I have some chocolate most days because I am human, it makes me genuinely happy, and actually serves as a nice fat filled antioxidant snack (I like the really dark stuff). Define your own nutrition boundaries that are realistic and sustainable for YOU.
2. Water. Here, I will get a little preachy. Most people are dehydrated. We should be aiming for half of our body weight in ounces of water per day…ish. Water is so important to me that I mentioned it in my wedding vows. Seriously, I did. Research supports a link between dehydration and many common medical ailments. To name a few cited by Dr. Axe: “Overall mood and cognitive function, tracking, recall, attention, psychomotor skills and memory. Brain fog, getting sick a lot, lack of detoxification, decreased energy and headaches are all side effects of being dehydrated.” You can read more about it in this article. Generally, a change most people could benefit from in their nutrition is to ADD water to it. We are a diet culture obsessed with taking food away; think about what things you can add and inadvertently some other things that aren't doing you a ton of good will probably slip away anyway.
3. If someone tells you they have the answers to your health - keep one eye open. Be skeptical - particularly if this person knows nothing of you, your medical history, or any symptoms that might warrant a look at your nutrition. People love to jump on all the proverbial bandwagons after reading one Google article about how “kale is all everyone needs!!!” Sidenote: I love kale but see #1 and you’ll remember I also need chocolate to live a full life. We are all bio-individual beings. Meaning, we have individual nutritional needs. What works for me might not work for you. So, while we are all well intentioned and want to share the miracle of eating fill in the blank, remember to take recommendations from people other than trusted professionals with a grain of sea salt. Discovering the key to your nutritional health takes work. It just does. You can follow the fads and cut this and that and maybe you’ll have “quick” success but nothing advertised as a quick fix will be the long-term answer. We have to put in the time and listen to our bodies.
I could sit here and tell you what generally would be a good starting place for most people, but the actual foods are not what this blog is about. If you ARE curious what a good starting place might be, stay tuned for a future article outlining good foundational foods. For now, what I want you to take away is that nutrition is as much behavior as it is food. Enjoy the foods you love, drink lots of water, do the work for yourself!