ASU Art Museum Family Fun Day 2009.

This photo, taken during my time as a dietetics major at ASU, brings back all the feels! That day I participated in ASU Art Museum’s family fun day (the theme of the exhibition was about food) with a booth dedicated to teaching kids (and adults) about healthy eating habits. I put together educational material and visuals so that my visitors could see how food affects our bodies and health. I had so much fun and loved every minute of that day!

Nutrition was and still is a very important part of my life. Moderation, not deprivation, has always been my motto. What exactly is moderation? “Moderation” is defined as, “in a way that is reasonable and not excessive. Because this phrase is a bit unclear and leaves room for interpretation, I recommend determining the calories and macronutrients necessary for your body to function properly while also meeting your health goals. Are you trying to lose or maintain your weight? Or perhaps your goal is to gain weight and build muscle? These goals will play vital roles when determining the number of a calories and macronutrients you need. Finally, add a little portion control to the mix, and you should be able to identify what moderation means for you!

Overall, I do not believe in eliminating any food group from my diet in order to achieve better health or weight loss. I do not like diets that vilify food or food groups. I will not feel guilt or shame for eating foods that are deemed “bad”. I actually do not like to label foods as “good” or “bad”. Yes, some food may give you more nutrients that are indeed imperative to your health, but the other food that may not be as nutrient dense is not “bad”, nor does it need to be eliminated from your diet. There is just food that shouldn’t be eaten ALL the time, but IS in fact okay to eat. I used to call this “everyday foods” and “sometime foods”. On a daily basis I focus on eating the “everyday foods” that will nourish my body, and provide me with the energy I need to get me through the busy day and workouts, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t indulge on the “sometimes foods”. I try not to overindulge, but guess what….that happens too every now and then, and it is OKAY! I eat ALL the food and take pleasure in it! My husband can attest to that! I also do not feel bad or guilty on those days that I indulge, I enjoy my food, and then I resume my normal daily eating habits and activities. To deny yourself foods because you feel the need to put yourself on a restrictive and strict diet to be “healthy” or to lose weight is not sustainable, nor will it make you happy.

Mid-conversation, teaching kids about nutrition at the ASU Art Museum Family Fun Day 2009.

It is important to know that everybody’s body is different and has different nutritional needs (activity levels vary as well). Registered dietitians can assist with making sure you get the proper macronutrients to nourish yourself and to meet your health goals. I always recommend listening to a professional, especially if you are dealing with health issues. But if you want a bit of advice from a dietetics dropout (coming from my own health journey and perspective), do not think you need to eliminate food groups from your diet or feel the need to starve yourself in an effort to be healthy. Eat the carbs….they are not the enemy, in fact, they are necessary! Eat the cake….you can have a piece and still be healthy or lose weight (if weight loss is your goal). Drink a glass of wine… what else do you want to do with your girlfriends on a Friday night anyway?! My motto….just do so in moderation.

Looking for some delicious recipes created by Registered Dietitians? Check these out!

These sites are also filled with delicious recipes! Especially if you need gluten free recipes like I do!

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