I see many students struggle to decide what to make for dinner. Lack of cooking skills, a long trek to the grocery store, a busy schedule, and a limited student budget have long been barriers to a balanced dinner.
An additional barrier that is becoming more and more prevalent is food confusion. There is so much information and misinformation about food, that many students are left feeling overwhelmed and unsure what to do. This confusion leads many to give up, admit defeat, and resort to fast food. This confusion causes many others to become overly particular, critical and rigid around their food intake.
In the midst of this food fight, many of us have lost sight of the natural cues that our bodies give us – things like hunger, fullness, energy levels, concentration and focus. It can be helpful to take a step back and acknowledge that what you eat is just one component. How, where, when and why are all equally as important.
A recent article in the Washington Post entitled No food is healthy. Not even kale provides a good reminder of this. The article encourages us to view foods as nutritious, rather than ‘healthy’ or ‘unhealthy’. If we eat an adequate amount and variety of nutritious foods, our bodies will be healthy. No singular food contains all of the components required for health. This means that while kale may be a nutritious food, eating kale alone will not make you a healthy person. Kale is nutritious, but it’s not healthy. It’s a small, but very important distinction.
The next time you’re feeling lost in a sea of nutrition information, check in with your body. We all have different needs, different likes and dislikes. The ideal food routine for you means eating when you are hungry, eating enough to feel satisfied, and including foods that you enjoy the taste of. The ideal food routine consists of a variety of different ingredients that all provide different nutrients and benefits. That’s going to look different for every person. There is no ‘right diet’ or ‘bad foods’ that should never ever be included.
Still have questions your food routine? Book a free one-to-one nutrition appointment with on-campus dietitian Lindzie O’Reilly by calling x52131