Sunday, January 22, 2012

Be Good or Gorge?

{Photos c/o}

If you are new to my blog, you may not know that I work for the Arizona Department of Education for their Health and Nutrition Services. Basically, I'm an auditor for the National School Lunch Program. Needless to say I'm constantly thinking about food, worrying about food, being judged for the food I eat, judging the food other people eat. Food is a BIG part of my life. I try to stay on top of current nutrition trends and diets, while still formulating an accurate professional and personal opinion on how we humans should treat our bodies nutritionally. I recently ran across this article written by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Nutrition Education Program. It goes over helpful tips on how to stay healthy on Superbowl Sunday. Hmmm.

Now I have a coworker who always says 'everything in moderation' anytime there is a debate over which lifestyle is the healthiest and what are the best principles in choosing which foods to eat. I love it because for the most part, it's pretty true, in all areas of life. So my question is, are the efforts of institutions like UNL and individual RD's and nutritionists futile when it comes to the subject of holiday's and events? Personally, I feel deprived if I don't get to eat goodies every once in a while like the ones in the pictures above. BUT that's the point, I have self control and moderation throughout the year, where as other people may not, they may need that control even on game day, to keep them from falling off of the wagon. Oh and I haven't mentioned vegetarians and vegans at this point. They obviously are going to modify everything to fit that part of their lifestyle, but that doesn't mean that a vegetarian can't smother everything in cheese (cheese is always my downfall). 

So I want to know how people feel about this. Do you feel like you are being preached at when someone says, you should make a healthier alternative to this, or are you grateful for the guidance? 

Keep it real,

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Anonymous Suburban Sweetheart said...  

Honestly, I feel talked down to when people tell me what I should be doing in relation to food. It's one thing to suggest, "I found a great recipe for this that's healthier but tastes so good, & so close to the original!" or whatever. But for the most part, I feel about uninvited food guidance like I do about uninvited ANYthing guidance: "You know, cracking your knuckles can contribute to arthritis!" "You know, using your iPhone that much can give you carpal tunnel!" and so on. I just don't feel it's anyone's business to inform me of what they don't like about my lifestyle, particularly when it's couched in concern for my health, which is, more often that not, a transparent cover for disgust toward fat people. I don't know. Maybe this is just me, but for the most part, I don't love it.

Blogger Amy said...  

I agree with the above comment. My bachelor's degree is in Nutritional Sciences and honestly that program made food so depressing to me. I constantly felt like I was being judged for what I did or didn't eat. I lost too much weight as a result, and I think I just couldn't emotionally handle constantly analyzing food. What always drove me crazy about nutrition is that we would talk about healthier options and everyone would make judgmental comments like, "Why do people keep putting these things in their bodies? Why can't they just eat what's right? It's so simple!" etc, etc. This drove me crazy because they never considered the psychological aspect. Food brings about so many emotions! This can be a good thing or a bad thing. All I know is that while food is a fuel for our bodies that can also be therapeutic and healing, it's also something to be enjoyed. Personally, that doesn't include someone critiquing my food choices and giving alternate suggestions. OK I'll get off my soap box now! I admire you for your passion for food and nutrition and for keeping a balanced perspective :)

Blogger RooFresh said...  

I agree with both of you, that it can feel to most people like its being crammed down their throat. In all honesty I feel like most people feel like that in general until the highschool reunion comes around and they have to be good, even on holidays. I can see it from all perspectives though. I think 'everything in moderation' is a good rule and just because you eat something that's not nutritionally perfect doesn't mean that you can't splurge and just try to listen to your body and stop eating when it says enough. I think the rest of the time being sensible and trying to look at your diet from a whole foods standpoint is always best. Calorie counting is no way to live and I believe that it can truly be taken to extremes in the nutrition world. I've seen it happen and even felt that way myself sometimes.

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