Let’s fall in love with food!!

To celebrate the month of February and beyond, we are going to fall in love with food!!

Do you know why I decided to become a holistic nutritionist. Because I love food. All food!

Food comes in so many varieties, keeps us all alive, and provides us with nourishment, pleasure, and comfort. What’s not to love? And what else in your life does all that? 😉

I wish everyone in the world loved food as well. But unfortunately these days, most people not only do not love food, but have come to fear it. So in the next 6-posts series, we are going to explore all the reasons why food — all food, from veggies to dessert — can be loved and we will look at how to fall in love with food!

As always, before getting to the new, we’re going to explore how we got here. And the path to fearing food is paved with three simple words: reductionist nutritional advice. Let’s see what that means.

Reductionist vs. holistic

Food is often categorized, sliced, and lumped together into nutritional guidelines. I was very happy that my studies did not require me to spend years studying the nutritional guidelines as proposed by the government. I don’t think that nutritional guidelines are bad. The main reason why nutritional guidelines began was to help people get all the nutrients they needed daily. However, things have changed a lot since then.

Nutritional guidelines are now not only a tool for food lobbies — I don’t want to get started on this because then I’d sound like a real conspiratorial loony — but they are also used to promote reductionist nutritional advice. This type of nutritional advice tends to be black-and-white and all-or-nothing. It promotes eating a lot or only of a certain food groups and avoiding altogether other food groups.

I know, it’s easy to believe that the perfect combination of foods will guarantee you perfect health and a long happy life. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. And personally, I like the fact that nutrition is not simple. Nutrition for a car is simple: gas goes in, it’s consumed, more gas is added. That’s as easy as it gets.

But you are not a machine!

Unlike a car, you have preferences, a cultural upbringing and background, and an emotional, economic, and local environment that affects your food choices. All these parts end up connecting to each other and form a whole that’s bigger than the sum of the parts. That’s what makes nutrition so complicated but also so intrinsically human.

You may disagree with my view and choose to believe the reductionist view. And perhaps a reductionist view of food works for you — which is fine. Remember, only you can decide what’s best for you. I hardly hold any universal truths when it comes to food. But anyone who says they have all answers, is missing out on what I think is the best part about nutrition: the questions.

Questions rather than answers

The goal of my articles is not to provide simple, one-size-fit-all answers. At least, not always 😉 When it comes to food, health, nutrition, and wellness, there are very few one-size-fit-all answers. And frankly, these few one-size-fit-all answers are really not that new or interesting.

At this point it is pretty well known that poisonous and spoiled food is not good, right? And we cannot argue that we need to eat, every day, multiple times a day. We also know quite clearly that some people are allergic or intolerant to specific foods or nutrients and must avoid them unless they want to have some pretty bad side effects.

Nothing new there, right? But what about the questions that we hear all the time about food and nutrition?

  • If fruits and veggies are so good for you, why don’t you want to eat them more often?
  • Should you avoid gluten even if you’re not celiac?
  • Is processed food “bad for you”?
  • Does eating meat really increase the risk of cancer, like the World Health Organization declared a few years ago?
  • When it comes to fish, do the benefits outweigh the risks from mercury contamination?
  • Should you skip dessert?

Now it’s getting interesting!! And while I may not have the answer to these questions, I think that just asking the questions and exploring the possibilities can allow us to see how nuanced, complex, and fascinating food and nutrition actually are.

Are you ready to fall in love?

Stay tuned then because next week we’re going on a journey! We are going to explore nutritional guidelines and reductionist nutritional advice and in process learn how to fall in love with food — all food. In each post we will find out how there’s nothing simple or one-way about any food groups and that’s what makes all foods so wonderfully human, complex, and easy to love <3

Do you have any questions that you would like to explore together? Drop them in the comments below or email me at valentina@valiantnutrition.com 🙂

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

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