Thursday 17 July 2014

Meet with a Dietician – Check!

I’m on the road to healthy eating!

Step one – find a way to learn what is really healthy and what my body REALLY needs.
You see, when deciding that I wanted to eat healthier, I ran into a bit of a problem.  I felt like I really didn’t know what foods are healthy. That's a little embarrassing to admit, but as I said before, there is so much information out there, and it all seems to be conflicting.  I have felt so stressed out shopping for food, because everything I looked at seemed dangerous. 
That red meat? Evil! – too much fat!
That pasta? Evil! – too many carbs!
Carrots? Evil! – too much sugar!
Milk? Evil! - no cow's milk for humans!
(Well, if you can't eat meat, pasta, vegetables or milk, what CAN you eat?!?)

Ahh! My busy mind was going in circles. I thought I was going to lose it.  I was afraid to eat anything, would get frustrated, and end up eating garbage anyway. 

I had thought about going back to some programs I had tried in the past, but if they didn’t work, then they're definitely not going to work now that I have a baby to take care of.  My husband and I figured that we needed to see someone with actual training and knowledge based on science – no gimmicks, no fads.  We decided that a Registered Dietitian would be the way to go, because they have specialized training (in New Brunswick, at least a bachelors degree and internship.)

Last night was our first meeting.  It was eye-opening. I got a lot of information, so I’m going to try to deal with it one step at a time.

The first thing we looked at was Canada’s Food Guide.
I’d seen it a million times. I’m sure every Canadian has. Same old, same old.  But wait, apparently I hadn’t really paid enough attention to it because my eating was WAY off.    

Based on the food guide, this is what I should eat each day:
·         7 servings of fruit and vegetables
·         6 servings of grain products 
·         2 servings of milk and milk alternatives
·         2 servings of meat and alternatives
Just looking at the number of servings was surprising. I went into this thinking I didn’t eat enough fruit and vegetables and loved carbs a little too much, but thought I was doing well with the meat and milk groups.  Protein is good, isn’t it? Eggs, chicken, beans, nuts – all good, right? Milk, yogurt – yummy and healthy! Apparently they are, but not too much! 

When we started looking at serving sizes, it became blaringly obvious that we were overeating – even on the good stuff! Our meeting was at a grocery store, and we actually went out into the store to look at serving sizes.  The shocking food was meat.  One serving size of meat/fish/poultry is 75g or 100g raw. One steak that we would typically cook was almost 3 servings! That’s more than what I’m supposed to eat in one full day!

I felt like I really should have known all of this! How foolish that I didn’t! It’s Canada’s Food Guide! I’ve seen it in different forms since elementary school!

I got more information than this, but this is what I’m dealing with now - food group balance and serving size.  Baby steps. It’s important, so I want to do it right.

Do you follow Canada’s Food Guide? If you do, give me some tips! If you don’t, feel free to share what works for you.  I love a good success story!

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