Date: February 16, 2021
Next in the Startover series, we spoke with Sydney Greene, a registered dietitian who specializes in nutrition for recovery from addiction, disordered eating, negative body image, and chronic digestive issues.
Throughout our conversation, Sydney stressed that ultimately, food choices are individual and personal. Your eating habits can be customized to what makes your body feel its best, and your choices can revolve around the foods that you find both nourishing and delicious.
To help us make these healthier choices, Sydney spent time with us debunking common nutrition myths. She replaced these myths with practical information, supported by research, and then shared sensible advice for how to incorporate more healthy habits into our day.
Nutrition Myths Debunked:
Myth: Count calories
Fact: The quality of the calories matters more so than the quantity.
Action: Try to eat a balanced intake of high-quality vegetables, protein, fat and complex carbohydrates.
Myth: Don’t Eat Carbs
Facts: Your body needs carbohydrates! It’s the type of carb that is important. A sweet potato provides your body with necessary nutrition, while a cookie is an empty carbohydrate with refined sugar.
Action: Focus on vegetables, whole grains and fruits for carbohydrates. (Eat the sweet potato.)
Myth: Juice Cleanses Detox Your Body
Facts: There is no evidence that juice cleansing supports detoxification. Your body is constantly, naturally detoxifying itself.
Action: Bypass the juice and eat simple, whole foods.
Myth: Skip Breakfast
Facts: Breakfast is important! It boosts your metabolism and helps balance your blood sugar.
Action: Try and include the 2Ps during breakfast – protein and produce. Your first meal of the day should have a source of protein and a fruit and/or vegetable.
Myth: Fat is Bad
Facts: Fat is essential to every diet! As with carbs and sugar, some types of fat are far healthier for your body than others.
Action: When choosing foods, select whole foods rather than fat free options. Foods with whole fat, like eggs, milk, and butter, are far more nutritious, satiating, and delicious.
Myth: Eat At Least 100 grams of Protein Every Day
Facts: One hundred grams of protein is approximately double the amount of protein your body needs per day. Most people easily meet (and exceed) their recommended daily allowance without paying special attention to incorporating protein in their diet.
Action: Shift your focus to the quality of your protein source. Wild seafood, grass-fed meat, and organic tofu are a few of the healthiest options.
Myth: Snacks are Bad
Fact: Snacks can be quite nutritious and help you stay full in between meals.
Action: Grab protein-based and low-sugar snack options, totaling approximately 25% of your daily calories.
Ten Quick Tips from the Session:
- Hydrate. Then, hydrate some more.
- Shift your focus to the quality of your food rather than the quantity.
- Eat whole foods.
- Eat more plants, including plant protein.
- Eat more vegetables.
- Eat early. Try to eat breakfast within an hour or so of waking, since It fuels you for your day.
- Do NOT skip meals.
- All sugar is not created equal. Sugar naturally found in fruit comes packaged with vitamins and nutrients. Try and reduce foods with added sugar.
- Prioritize sleep. Insufficient sleep spikes your hunger hormones, making you reach for food when you really just need to sleep.
- HALT: Ask yourself – Am I Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired? Identify which of these you are feeling, and if you’re not actually hungry, find a different way to address the true need. If you’re lonely, reach out to someone. If you’re tired and able to, take a nap or plan for a relaxing night with an earlier bedtime.
Sydney ended with an important reminder that the number on the scale is just that – a mere number. It does not measure your health and all that word encompasses, including but not limited to mental health, spiritual health, and the quality of your relationships. Your weight does not even provide a definitive answer about your physical health; sleep habits, your immune system, and muscle strength are also crucially important to your physical and overall well-being. These expert tips and takeaways can help you develop the habits and choose the wholesome foods to fuel the balanced, healthy life that you want to lead.
Sydney can be reached at [email protected] and 267-664-7826.