Good Morning & Happy Memorial Day Friends. I hope you are spending the day with loved ones and remembering the ones who have given the ultimate sacrifice for us. I will be spending the day working out at my gym doing the CrossFit workout “Murph” followed by a BBQ wth friends. Cheers!
I don’t want to take up too much of your time today as I hope you are enjoying the sun but I wanted to touch on something quickly. Being in the nutrition field is harder in ways than I ever would’ve imagined. Don’t get me wrong I love what I do but some days I wonder if it’s even worth it. Everyone and I mean E.V.E.R.Y.O.N.E has an opinion on food and nutrition.
I get it, we all eat so therefore we are all, in some way, a nutrition expert. That’s not really the issue. The issue is when you start imparting what you do, eat and believe about nutrition on others when it’s 1. not your business and 2. you’re not qualified. Believe me I see it everyday. The good & bad news is the longer I’m in the field the more immune I am to it.
Nutrition Experts Run Rampant
You do not need to be an RD to provide nutrition advice. I’m not about to sit here and preach that. Instead I’m going to touch on the nutrition expert epidemic that seems to be plaguing our world. While, yes I want there to be as many people as possible helping others get healthy, I fear that it will (and already has) have a backlash on other’s health.
Just because something works for you does not mean it will work for others. Also, just because something DOESN’T work for you doesn’t mean it won’t work for others. This is the area that I think starts to become toxic in the nutrition world. We start labeling foods and diets as black or white, right or wrong, healthy or not healthy.
While, yes I can argue all day how real food is healthier than diet food, it’s not so black and white with other foods and diets. While I’m not personally vegetarian or vegan, it doesn’t mean (if executed correctly) that it cannot work for others. We are all genetically different and are affected by our environment and lifestyle. We don’t live in a vacuum or in a research study. Because of all of that, I believe there is no one size fits all and by bashing on each other we are doing more harm than good.
Let Them Eat Cake
While cake may not be the right food choice here as I can argue with the best that sugar, especially in large quantities is good for no one. The point is that you need to let others eat the way that makes them feel their best. And if they’re not feeling their best, they will eventually reach out for help. You shoving the latest and greatest social media article at them will not help. Instead you do you and let them do them. If they see you happy and healthy, guess what, they will ASK you why. Then and only then is when you should impart your advice.
When you shove cake, errrrr nutrition advice down someone’s throat who is not ready, you have the potential to do more harm than good. Believe me, I want to tell everyone EVERYTHING I know, but sometimes me saying nothing does more for them than saying everything. Why? Because there is a time and a place when people are ready to hear what they need to hear and when you tell them to cut out gluten, grains, dairy, joy and laughter, they may no longer listen and do the complete opposite.
Unless you are a trained professional, let them eat cake. Let people eat what they want to eat unless they come to you seeking advice. Let them do them and you do you. Ask the same from others. Find people making fun of you for cutting out food? Ask them to let you eat your cake and to mind their own business, plain and simple. True friends will leave you alone (or laugh along with you), others will tear you down, you don’t need that negativity in your life, good bye.
How to Eat for Yourself
Here’s the thing, unless you are in charge of feeding someone (i.e. baby, child, elderly, dog) you need to back off. While you may know more than most (or read it on a blog, or hear it on a podcast), you may not know how the other person is going to respond to what you have to say. So eat for yourself and let others eat for themselves. The cool thing is just like religion & politics, we can all co-exist and eat at the same table even if we eat differently. That is really neat, so don’t ruin it by telling the person eating steak that they are a murderer. If it bothers you that much, leave.
So, how do you eat for yourself?
- Eat food that makes YOU feel good. You owe no one any explanation on why you eat the way you eat. If you want to offer it up when they ask, great, but if you don’t, YOU OWE THEM NOTHING.
- Only offer advice when asked (unless you are a trained professional…and even then, beware). If someone gets broken up with and is crying, do you offer them every piece of advice you’ve ever heard or do you offer them a shoulder to cry on? Exactly. Lay off the advice until they ask.
- LET IT GO. Let go of food judgment. If you see or are around others eating food you know/think/feel is unhealthy, let it go. If it’s too much to bear, remove yourself from the situation. If it’s someone on social media you cannot stand, unfollow. This doesn’t mean you cannot have friendly conversation but if it’s pure negativity and judgment, LET IT GO.
We all eat and we all have feelings, thoughts and emotions around food. That’s super cool! What’s not cool is when we try to impart that on others and make them feel bad for doing/eating/drinking what they do. Give advice when asked, let it go otherwise and we’ll all be happier. Food & nutrition is not black or white, believe me I know far too much about metabolism and genetics for that to be the case.
Okay, thanks for letting me rant on my little corner of the internet. Enjoy your day and let them eat cake for crying out loud!
ps. if you’ve been to Austin, TX before, leave a comment on your favorite restaurant or things to do! I’m heading there with a few friends next week and would love to know some must see/do/eat/drink/dance essentials