It’s no secret that I’m on a unique diet. Something that may shock others though, is that I rarely do anything that’s not purposeful. I am a very calculated person, researching my next move like a chess player. (My dad will appreciate that comparison.)
Listen to your body
When I decided to change my diet a few months ago, I thought it was because I had pulled an intriguing couple of books, randomly off of the shelf at Barnes and Noble. Though looking back through a few journals, I began reading how early this epiphany really began. For many months, and probably many years, I have always expressed a dis-taste in meat. In fact, in middle school I gave it up, only to quit when I had a craving for Arby’s roast beef… of all things. I found myself eating steaks and hamburgers, more as a ritual when others did rather than because I actually wanted it!
I frequently keep track of my health through journaling, an important tip so that you can truly know what side effects different things are having on you. (How would you know your lactose intolerant if you never associate the side effects with the dairy-filled meals your eating?) I had written about my frustration with our diets, and how I felt “sick” after most meals from eating poorly, and eating too much at meals. I’ve never been one to eat large meals, more of a grazer, I suppose. And I’ve always had a problem with the portion sizes that we seem to think are normal in this culture.
After all of the reading that I have done for this new diet, I still felt as though I didn’t know enough, or maybe I was just afraid that I was missing something. I set out to find a local nutritionist who could help me be more confident in the decisions Michael and I were making.
Enter Sandra, an MPH, LD, RDN, CLT working as a nutrition specialist at her company Nutrition Works. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect from a visit with her. I had contacted her and set up an appointment to have a consultation, of sorts. Michael and I spent about 45 minutes to an hour talking with her about our current foods and meals and habits and gaining as much knowledge from her as possible. As expected, she did mention that meat could be healthy when it is raised appropriately, and she encouraged us to talk with local farmers to find out more information about their meat. Other than that, she agreed firmly with our decisions so far, in terms of the health of our diet. She gave us one or two pointers regarding different plants we could try (and ways to prepare them) like beets. Mostly, she served as an educated nutritionist who confirmed my own personal research, and thus decision regarding my health.
Michael learned that he probably needs to increase his calorie intake, or perhaps monitor it for a week or two to make sure he’s getting the 2,000 calories he needs! I was given a daily calorie maintenance value of 1,500. She gave us a few coupons and we were on our way.
This visit secured in me a few things, a confidence that we’re making a wise decision at our ages, and the ability to reinforce to any doubters in our lives that we are being healthy and not extreme… this is an educated decision, not a flippant one.
I encourage all of you to find a nutritionist to help you understand better the needs of your body, and specific foods that would help you!
If you’re in the Louisville area, check out Sandra’s website here!