Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Confessions of a Sweet-Toothed Nutritionist

Years ago when I told friends and family that I was switching my major in university to nutrition their universal reaction was, "you?...in nutrition?....oh really?". I was known for my love of sweet and salty low nutritional value foods, in other words, junk food. My grandmother would send me $5.00 for my birthday and tell me not to spend it all in the candy store with a wink. Friday nights with my best friend in high school consisted of a movie, a McCain Deep and Delicious cake, a bag of chips and assorted bulk bin candy (no rebel party animal here). Several years later I don't receive birthday cards from my grandma anymore and my junk food buddy lives thousands of miles from me. I would love to say that my years of higher education has transformed my eating habits and now I practice what I preach, but I can't. Although there has been improvement I still feel far from that ideal healthy eater everyone assumes I must be when they find out I am a nutritionist. Over the years I have kept promising myself that tomorrow I would magically transform my diet. 

When I was pregnant with my second child I developed gestational diabetes. I followed the diet relatively strictly, maintained normal blood sugars and gave birth to a healthy girl. I was convinced that this diagnosis was the motivating factor for me to overhaul my diet and maintain these healthy eating habits for good. I lasted a week. My daughter is now one year old and I continue to have that nagging little voice in my head that I need to get serious about eating better not only for myself but also for my daughters. 

Looking back at my failed attempts to transform my diet I realize that when it comes to change I am a hare, not a tortoise. In other words, I race out of the starting gate with excitement and passion, then run out of steam quickly and return to my previous habits. So I've decided this time around I am going to approach healthy eating like a tortoise, slow and steady, one small change at a time. In my years as a practicing nutritionist I have realised that we are faced with multiple healthy living choices a day. So I've decided to start this blog as a way to document my family's tortoise journey to healthy eating and living, one small choice at a time. I hope you decide to join me or at least cheer me on from the sidelines.