Sunday, September 26, 2010

Confused About Food?

Everyone already knows we should eat lots of fruits and vegetables and whole grains, and we should exercise regularly, to be healthy. They don't need me or anyone else to tell them that. So why are we as a nation, getting more obese and unhealthy every day?

Well, for one thing, it is complicated to figure out what is healthy and what is not in our food supply today. With genetically modified foods, factory farming, pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, additives, preservatives, flavor enhancers, and who knows what else in grocery store and fast food, most people need some help in clearing up this confusing mess so they can feed themselves and their family with the confidence that they are being nourished, and without the fear that they are inadvertently poisoning them in the process!

I have been interested in health and nutrition for most of my life. I read Prevention Magazine at my grandmother's house when I was in early grade school. I helped in her gardens and cooked and preserved foods with my mother. I encouraged my children to eat a wide variety of whole foods, and limited fast food and sugary snacks.  Eating healthy has been my life's quest, but I must admit, I had become confused myself with what to eat. It seemed there was a new diet coming out every other week, that was supposed to be the answer to our problems. And the newest diet likely contradicted the philosophy of one or more of the previous diets!

And then there is the yo-yo diet syndrome that many women of my generation know all to well. What we found after years of that dieting mindset was that none of them worked long term, most of them weren't healthy, and now years later, because of the yo-yo'ing, we can't lose weight at all through dieting!  It is time for a new approach.

So alas, as I am a determined sort, I came to find a way out of this dilemma, and I want to share what I have learned about health and nutrition. Life is our greatest teacher and I have done my share of experimenting on myself with each new diet trend, nutritional supplement, or self-improvement book that I have studied or tried. Don't get me wrong, many of them are great, but the problem for me was that many times I would let the opinion or recommendation of someone else override my own innate knowing of what is right for me.

My way out of the confusion came gradually to me as I began to rely on my own intuition, and began to realize that just because it worked for the author or spokesperson, it may not be right for me. And then I found the Institute for Integrative Nutrition which sort of pieced it all together for me. Their curriculum is based on "bio-individuality", meaning one person's food may be another person's poison. At IIN, we learn from the best of the best -- leading edge holistic health, nutrition, and wellness experts. I'm sure you would recognize many of them.  It has been an enlightening and empowering experience and I am ready to pay it forward.  I hope to help guide others on their journey of self-discovery, in a way that is right for them!

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