I’ve recently partnered with a dynamic young female #bosslady, Deanna Bossert, who is launching her innovative business, The Cooking Collaborative, as a culinary education tool/personal chef service that will cultivate both nutrition and cooking through community effort. We are both so incensed with people’s tendencies to want that quick fix, we had to put pen to paper to refute this idea!
The allure of nutrition fads, gimmicks, and trends is remarkable. Even I, a registered dietitian with a Master’s degree, years of clinical experience in an academic hospital, and published research, have fallen prey at times (hence – the four-hundred dollar liver “cleanse” pack I purchased from a holistic doctor rotting under my bed). As the dietitian, I stand for science. I stand behind the Cooking Collaborative because Deanna understands that science is unwavering, though her creativity with food is not. And through her cooking innovation, which largely uses what I call “Earth Foods,” (foods with minimal processing that come from the earth or a living creature on Earth) Deanna’s work (and mine) embody the science of nutrition.
We’ve both had exasperating, misguided clients who simply do not understand that nutrition is, at its core, a science. Mine usually sit across from me in my office and earnestly “admit” that they eat “too much” fruit and attribute mango intake to their weight gain. This is laughable. Fruit, or any Earth Food, is not to be vilified! It’s poor food preparation, poor food planning, portion distortion, emotional/psychosocial factors, and poor food choices over time that create negative weight outcomes. Some of my clients balk at eating a single date because there is just “so much” sugar, but will guzzle Diet Coke, a known metabolic disruptor, by the gallon. They’ll reject my promise that you can eat an entire avocado every single day and that you don’t have to measure out blueberries, but will imbibe “Alien Foods” – foods that are NOT from this planet, and avoid the big picture – changing your nutrition LANDSCAPE.
Changing your attitude towards nutrition and food perpetually and realizing that there is NO shortcut, no quick fix, no chemical, and no pill that will result in a LIFETIME of consistently healthy eating choices is the key to health. Selecting foods from nature with pure wholesome ingredients, is what needs to be achieved for the longevity of a healthy weight and developing a healthy relationship with food. Certainly, things like chocolate can and should be eaten (a REALLY high quality, 85% cacao content dark chocolate, in ONE OUNCE quantities). Consuming “Alien Foods” (man-made ingredients) will never result in a lifetime of a healthy weight; they will condition you to believe clever marketing, pseudoscience, and will make you crave more Alien Foods.
For someone to change their diet permanently – to begin a nutrition program with me or a meal program with Deanna – is to begin a PROCESS. It is not a visit to the dentist or a doctor. It is nowhere as finite. It is the beginning of a journey; journeys will have ups, downs, halts, twists, turns, triumphs, and falls. Nutrition change takes TIME. You’ve been alive and eating for x years, why would you expect magnificent results in one session or one meal? It’s like physical therapy or psychotherapy; things unravel and unfold and certainly, over time. Through this transitional journey, permanent change does, and will occur.
Some clients are stunned, ashamed, or even angry with me when they aren’t losing weight/reaching their nutrition goals. Usually, it’s because they are being dishonest with themselves. They will heed some of my advice, yes, but will still continue engaging in negative food/exercise/stress behaviors. There are emotional eating factors that need to be coped with. There are feelings that need to be addressed, even unrelated to food. Changing your body is changing your life; it’s not as simple as just adding a few fruits/vegetables here and there.
If we (Deanna and I) could get all clients to agree to putting their trust in our professional hands – following my advice or Deanna’s form of satiated advice served on your plate, really – we would see a large difference in our clients success. It is painful and sad for us to watch our clients flounder, but we know it’s because they are deviating from the process and often turning to Alien Foods and gimmicks in a failed attempt to accelerate their progress.
There is hope. Trust your chef, trust your dietitian, trust yourself, and invest yourself in the adventure that is nourishing your body and soul (and #feedyouressence). Not one body is alike, however every system deserves the purest form of nourishment. You’ll find that with your own diligence, motivation, and our help, you WILL see and feel the healing results of good, real food. And that is embracing change.
Monica Auslander, MS, RD, LD/N
Deanna Bossert, The Cooking Collaborative – www.thecookingcollaborative.com