Modern Day Nutritionista

Working at a restaurant, I see my fair share of good and bad meal choices. Ranging from a garden burger on a whole-wheat bun with a side of fruit to a big juicy steak with a side of scalloped potatoes, there are definitely a wide variety of preferences among customers.

Now I am not one to judge, but as a nutrition major, I have been taught to automatically calculate just how nutritious the food I see really is. However, I am definitely the wrong person to ask when it comes to making healthy choices, as I am fortunate enough to have inherited my father’s good metabolism and poor eating habits.

When I make the mistake of telling my customers that I am a nutrition major, the responses are automatic as well as predictable: “Oh no! Don’t judge me on what I’m eating!” “So what can I do to lose all this extra weight? “Does wine really help your heart? How?”

While I am grateful that these people are interested in health and nutrition, therefore fueling my future career, it does get tiring trying to give people healthy menu advice – especially at a restaurant that does not have very healthy options.

There are so many clichés and inside jokes among the nutrition girls (yes, girls – unfortunately it’s about a 9:1 girl: boy ratio in my classes, so its easy to generalize) when it comes to talking to non-nutrition majors about food. (Warning: this is the part where you get some hints on how to not make a nutritionist laugh at you).

My favorite cliché is the assumption that wheat bread is always the better choice over white bread – which is an easy one to make.

Unfortunately, regular wheat bread (the kind that is served at most restaurants) is not that much better for you than the former. When choosing wheat bread the key is to choose 100% whole wheat – other than that you may as well go with white.

The obesity epidemic in the United States has caused people to re-evaluate their eating habits, but not everyone is doing so effectively. There are so many suggestions to how the country can decrease the prevalence but so far things have only gotten worse. Some people think it is trans fats, some think it’s high fructose corn syrup, others think it’s carbohydrates.
In my opinion, people just need to stop eating so much food in general! Think back to the 1950’s when everyone was in such good shape. Same amount of food, but there was less television, only one theatre in the entire city, and people actually went outside!

I do realize this looks a little hypocritical as I am writing a blog (very modern-day of me) about being lazy. Even the word blog sounds lazy… But I do my part in attempting to prevent myself from becoming a statistic! I walk to and from school and work, walk to the grocery store with my reusable bag, and even get my friends to walk downtown to burn some extra calories.

Americans need to get off the computer, stop watching so much TiVo, and get outside! Adopt a puppy, take it out running; play Frisbee with your kids; walk to the grocery store down the street when all you need is milk. There are so many small alterations that can be made and all we are doing is sitting and complaining about how the high fructose corn syrup in soda is making us fat.


Two Good Websites:

A Book to Check Out:
Eat This, Not That by David Zinczenko


1 Comment »

  1. Great advice! People really do need to exercise a little more, eat a little less, and be more active throughout the day in general (e.g., cut their own grass instead of hiring a service).

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