Nicole Palmieri, who is currently studying Dietetics at the University of Dayton, shared with Healthy Lombard that…
Food is fuel, if we let it be. While there is not a lot we can control in life, the food we choose to consume is something we can. It is difficult to discern what to eat and how much of it, especially with a lot of misinformation online. When our choices start to become too complex, I have three pillars to remind myself of:
1. Nutrition does not need to be complicated
Sometimes it can feel that the health and wellness industry is throwing a lot of different claims to its consumers. Pushes such as trying a new miracle protein powder, superfood, or supplement can be confusing. At these times, I remind myself that nutrition does not need to be complicated, and I can rely on the basics. This being so, focus on drinking plenty of water, and lessen the intake of refined carbohydrates, fatty foods, and high-sodium foods. More importantly, increase the intake of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, and sources of lean protein, whether it be plant-based or animal-based.
2. The small changes add up
If a health goal that I set is not being accomplished “fast enough,” I remind myself that a “quick fix” or fast results will not be worth it. I would rather take my time to accomplish a health-related goal and have the results be effective in the long term. Related to this, one large detox diet for seven days or something like this will not amount to anything in the long run. Instead, focus on the small changes, because these will add up and lead to more sustainable progress. For example, rather than setting a goal to eat no sweets and no carbs, first, try to switch out your routine after-dinner dessert with fruit. Additionally, try to add more protein and vegetables to your dinners instead of removing all carbohydrates from your plate. These small changes will add up to big results since they are more manageable, and one is more likely to be consistent with them.
3. Practice intuitive eating
Intuitive eating is the process of figuring out how you feel in your body before, during, and after your meals. It is so important to be mindful when eating so that we can gain a sense of when we are hungry when we are satiated, or when we may feel hungry but are actually thirsty or bored. Intuitive eating is a pillar for me because it can be easy to endlessly plan my meals with what I will eat and when I will eat it, but it may not be what my body needs or craves. Instead, mindfulness, honoring my hunger and fullness cues, and trusting my body to fuel itself with food but also respecting my cravings, are all facets of intuitive eating that I often remind myself with when