As a Nutritionist, I have certainly come across a few stereotypes of who I am supposed to be. I think I surprise some people because I drink coffee and wine, pizza is on the menu (albeit homemade) and I have a major sweet tooth. Oh-and I don’t judge what you have in your lunch bag! For real. I don’t care. If you want my advice, you’ll have to ask for it because I’m not one to give unsolicited nutritional advice. That’s the worst.
So I rounded up my top five (with a “BUGS ME” bonus) myths about Holistic Nutritionists. Hope this clears some things up.
MYTH #1: We are all Hippies
We are NOT all hippies (not that being a hippie is a bad thing). I might be half-a-hippie (says my husband) but as granola as I am, this does not apply to all holistic nutritionists. In fact, many nutritionists are very forward thinking, technologically savvy and quite modern folks. Also typically not “fighting the man”. We simply want to help people through the education of food encompassing lifestyles as a whole. It’s pretty great when you think about it, isn’t it?
MYTH #2: We are all vegetarians
Some probably are. But some of the population in general are vegetarians so…there you go. I eat meat. It’s delicious and incorporated into a healthy day to day plan, it’s a wonderful source of nutrients. We eat meatless meals occasionally, about once or twice a week. My menu includes fish, eggs and lots of other non-animal sources of protein including beans, quinoa, soy, nut butters, etc. We like to change it up-we just like changing it up with meat as well.
MYTH #3: Nutritionists and Dietitians are the same thing
These are two separate professions. Although typically the same goal is in mind, the schooling and focus can be quite different.
Dietitians earn a Bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition and then follow an internship program or master’s practicum program until they register to practice. These are regulated health professionals that play a major role in government, industry and health care. Typically a large part of their nutrition information includes the Canada Food Guide.
Holistic Nutritionists earn a diploma in natural nutrition and are registered. The approach to health and nutrition is more integrated as we include the body, mind and spirit (There you go-thinking we’re all hippies again!). Basically, we look at all aspects of a person’s lifestyle, not only food. We believe food is medicine and that the source of many ailments can be helped with the proper recommendations.
This, of course, is only the tip of the iceberg…but I digress. They are not the same, that’s all I’m saying.
MYTH #4: We eat healthy 100% of the time
This is true…next.
HA! Can you hear me laughing/scoffing? I’m a real person you know! With cravings and…tastebuds. I certainly try my best like most people, but I have my days when I want to go have an ice cream cone (REAL ice cream though, non of this “frozen dessert” shenanigans) or eat a cookie for breakfast (probably homemade because they’re WAY better). Our family lives by the 80/20 principle. Eat well 80% of the time and you don’t have to feel guilty about the other 20%. We have fruit and vegetables every day. I drink a TON of water, but it’s tap water because I’m not crazy and installing some silly water “system” into my house. Tap water works. My husband and I strive to eat well all week so we can have a treat meal and a bottle of wine on the weekend. I’m REAL. And I don’t like to say no to delicious food if I go over to a friend’s house and they serve me something unhealthy (but SCRUMPTIOUS). I don’t stress about it. Enjoy life, eat well.
MYTH #5: We know everything there is to know about food, how to consume it, make it, what is in it, and what it heals
I don’t. I wish I did-that’d be amazing! I read up on everything possible, try to stay current with new trends and diets (which is hard…believe me…ever heard of oil pulling?) but sometimes I don’t have the answer. If you ask me, I’ll find out for you though-because that’s my job. Sometimes I don’t have a tried and true recipe for a certain vegetable…I KNOW CRAZY…but I’m also not going to be angry if you ask. Of course you’re going to think I know, just as I would ask a paramedic about some sort of lump of bump. They SHOULD know, right? Well…give me a minute. I’ll find out. Food is my passion, so if you’re asking, I probably want to know the answer too!
THIS BUGS ME (BONUS!): Nutritionists are Judgey McJudgersons
I know I’ve stated this before, but I’m not going to judge you for what you eat or what you feed your kids. Honestly. You do what you do and I’ll do what I do. It’s not a big deal. I’m not picking apart your sandwich or your grocery cart at the store. You don’t need to justify anything! If you want help with anything, I’m here. I’m happy to provide some insight or recipes professionally but remember, as a friend-I am NOT perfect. But don’t worry-I’m not going to go home and tell my husband about the snacks you fed your kid. Seriously, I have better things to do.
Just remember…sometimes the lessons we offer our children are ones we should listen to ourselves. Don’t judge a book by its cover! We are who we are. I chose this profession and I’m proud to be a Nutritionist. I won’t judge you if you don’t judge me, cool? Awesome. Just wanted to be clear.