I have recently had the opportunity to make some new friends and become better acquainted with people I already know. One of the first things people ask when meeting a new person is "what do you do?" or some form of that question. I happen to do a lot of things. Most of my time is spent being a mom to my daughter and a lot of people I meet in that circle don't know I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, licensed in four states, have a virtual nutrition counseling business, and do clinical nutrition consulting "on the side" (whatever that means). As soon as people find out any of these things about me, its like a switch flips and all my nutritional choices for myself and my daughter are automatically evaluated. I'm in a fishbowl.
I know I am not the only dietitian to experience this. And I know several of my friends have watched me but hesitated to ask me certain questions about my choices. Honestly I hesitate to open up about this because I know some will judge what I do. The truth is when it comes to nutrition, there is no best diet for everyone. It is easy to think that because something works great for you that everyone should do it but that is just not true. People's sensitivities, diseases, lifestyles, culture, and bodies are all different and these demand different diets. There are many paths to a healthy lifestyle. I have many clients who cannot eat the same way I do, nor do I want them to based on their own individual needs. In this post I am going to be open about some of my personal nutrition habits to anyone who is curious what this normal dietitian mom does.
I am not gluten free or dairy free. I don't have sensitivities to these things and the inflammation they cause me is minimal (I know because I tested myself). So, I embrace these in moderation in my diet.
I enjoy eating at restaurants. Dining out is a treat and I don't try to be healthy when eating out. We are healthy at home with consistent good habits, so when we eat out I enjoy every single french fry, wonton, or whatever it is I'm eating.
My daughter consumes "pouches" as snacks on the go. Yes, I am very picky about brands and what is in them. But I have no guilt in buying these up so I know she has something I feel good about giving her if she's hungry while we're out somewhere.
My daughter eats what we eat every meal (and now the dog does too). She has eaten off our plates since she was six months old. I have gotten so many weird looks and lots of pushback, but baby led weaning is absolutely the way to go! She likes Indian food, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, and salmon since she gets to eat it with Mom and Dad.
I meal plan and stick to it. We're a family of three so four to five meals will feed us for a week. Once I have my five meals picked out, shopped for, and prepped I stick to having that meal during the week. This helps the budget and my waistline probably more than anything else I do.
We protect family meal times. As often as possible we eat as a family. We eat almost all meals at the table (with a few Friday night movie night exceptions). This allows us to connect as a family but also prevents mindless, distracted eating.
I love dessert. If you know me at all, you know this. Dessert will always be a part of my diet, I just adjust other calories and nutrients accordingly.
This is me, the real me, who the people looking in my fishbowl are trying to analyze and figure out at times. These are the nutritional choices that work for me, I know they can't and don't work for everyone. If you're struggling to figure out what choices are best for you and your family, I would love to help you with that. I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into this dietitian mom's personal nutrition choices!