From the inspiring stories I’ve read so far from all women in Raw Beauty Talks, what has captivated me most is that many of us (and maybe without realizing) define beauty as a feeling within versus an external perception. It seems that certain experiences in life instill a feeling of beauty like a moment of accomplishment or achievement, feeling confident, being in love, or laughing out loud. Although we cannot deny that beauty is recognized externally, when asked the question – “when we feel most beautiful?”, many of us look to a much deeper experience.
I am a Registered Dietitian in Vancouver and I work with clients to help change their relationship with food. For many of my clients, weight loss is a goal and often they reflect that they are unhappy with their appearance, some even saying that they don’t feel beautiful.
Eating healthy means learning how to properly nourish your body and develop a more positive relationship with food. This doesn’t mean cutting out food groups, giving up wine, or your love of eating out, it means learning how to include these indulgences regularly, just within the context of balance. In the process of adopting a healthier diet, people experience a multitude of physical and emotional changes. Altering negative eating habits and making healthier food and lifestyle choices takes motivation, guidance, practice, support, and diligence. When you stay the course, the impact is far-reaching. You feel healthy, empowered, strong, and have more energy to tackle your day. Witnessing the transformation that occurs in clients is inspiring. Obviously there are physical changes, but the most compelling changes are those that occur within. Clients radiate greater self-worth, confidence, and even reflect on strengthened relationships and improved performance at work. I think it is for these reasons, rather than any number on the scale, that beauty is felt within…. Nothing feels better than healthy feels.
In the spirit of striving for a healthier you, I am going to leave you with an important consideration that could ultimately change your relationship with food for the better:
Shut out the noise (fad diets, diet books, the latest diet trends, etc.) and invest in finding your own healthy diet so that you can make it a lifestyle. Diet is not a one size fits all. The multi-billion dollar diet industry continues to fail us because what works for one person, is not necessarily going to work for you. To get you started, I have compiled some credible and insightful resources to help you along in your own quest for healthy eating. If you are looking for more guidance and support, consider speaking with a consulting dietitian. They will discuss everything that is unique to you (your lifestyle demands, food budget, where you grocery shop, if you eat out, food preferences, interest or lack thereof in cooking, etc) and collaboratively develop an eating plan that fits you and that works towards meeting your nutrition goals.
Below are some additional resources to help you find beauty in every bite.
HealthCastle.com – Advice on a variety of nutrition topics exclusively from Registered Dietitians.
Nutrition Blog Network – The Nutrition Blog Network is a collection of blogs written by Registered Dietitians. It’s a site you can turn to for trusted advice from nutrition experts. Use the ‘nutrition blog directory’ to refine your search for blogs related to the area of nutrition you want to learn more about.
13 Tips for Eating Healthier in 2014 from Registered Dietitians across Canada
Dietary dogma: How paleo, low-carb, raw food and other fads do nutrition a disservice
If you have any questions, you can contact Christine Shaddick at email@example.com
Christine Shaddick is a Registered Dietitian in Vancouver. She works as a consultant with Spectrum Nutrition where she helps clients for a number of nutrition-related concerns. Christine is committed to helping people change the way they think and feel about food so that healthy eating can become sustainable and enjoyable part of their life.
I am very interested in having a healthy diet. It wasn’t until I moved abroad that I realized what 1st world problems are. Back in Vancouver I can find any dietary desire at any time. On a whim I can pick up some kombucha or a chocolate cake. Traveling has shown me how difficult it can be to attempt any kind of restrictive diet outside of the local habits. I stopped eating vegetarian because I was starving myself. I have to eat carbohydrates because every meal mainly consists of rice. The questions I have for dietitians now is: how do I maintain any kind of balanced diet where I have no kitchen, no cooking abilities beyond hot water, and no access to organic, vegan, dairy free, health food store, Whole Foods aisle nutrition?
It strikes me that we are very privileged to have our first world problems and solutions when choosing how we feed our bodies. I will never look at diets the same way again.
Hi Anna Mae,
I think the situation you find yourself in is a challenging one when it comes to healthy eating, but certainly not an impossible one. One of the best parts about travelling is immersing yourself in the local culture and there is no better way to experience another culture than through their cuisine. With that said, making healthy choices can be very difficult particularly when you don’t have control over what is available around you, when you lack the means to prepare your own food, and when you are constantly on the go. You did not specify exactly where you are abroad but what I would encourage you to do is make the most of what is available to you and try to approach it with good humour and adventure. Seek out local markets or food vendors that you can purchase fresh and local produce and try to find eateries that offer a variety of options so that you can find meals that are nourishing and satisfying. It sounds like your travels have been humbling in the sense that having variety of food at ones disposal is not an everyday luxury. We so easily forget that here in Vancouver where we are blessed to have such a diverse variety of healthy food available to us 365 days a year.
– Christine Shaddick, Spectrum Nutrition