By Paula Porter, CNP, NNCP
I talk to a lot of people about food. A lot. I am a Nutritionist, so food is kind of my thing. I often meet people who are trying to be healthier and who know that food is an integral part of health. There is a lot of conflicting nutrition information out there, and we often spend time prioritizing what is important for now, and what changes can maybe wait. I have met people who really want to make changes, who really get that making these changes WILL impact their life in many positive ways. I also have met people who for one reason or another just aren’t ready to alter the way they eat, even if they know the “should”, and that is ok.
You don’t have to be “perfect”!
The great thing about our food choices, is that even small changes can make big impacts. Working with a Nutritionist doesn’t mean that you will have to rehaul your life 100%. When I meet new Nutrition clients, I will usually address the elephant in the room – FEAR. Fear that the person in the chair opposite me will be judged. Fear of the expectation of perfection. Fear that dietary change is too hard, seemingly impossible. Some nutritionists will expect perfection- 100% organic, 100% grass-fed, zero added sugar, meditation every morning while you drink your lemon water. I have been around long enough to know that this expectation of perfection is what turns people off of working with people like me. One of our first matters of business is me sharing my LACK of perfection with you. We are all works in progress… me included, me especially.
I will usually ask about motivation. “Why are you here today? What is motivating you to make a change?” – these are among my first questions. Sometimes even the most powerful motivator – a recent or threatening diagnosis, isn’t enough motivation. We are complicated. Most of us have long-standing associations with the foods we hold dear. Some of us are lonely and find food a good friend. Sometimes we spend a lot of time just talking about the “why”. For many, being told to make nutritional change isn’t enough, it has to be felt deeply for some in order to begin the journey.
Making it work!
Small “homework” assignments can really start to ignite the awareness that these changes actually AREN’T as hard as originally thought. I have often assigned “buy an avocado and try it”, or “go four days without going to a drive thru”, or “this week, consciously think before anything goes in your mouth”, or listen to this podcast this week. These seemingly small tasks can be huge for some people. Sometimes simply becoming more conscious of our food choices when our social life is busy has a HUGE impact. “What’s on for the week?” is a question I ask during every call or meeting. You have a work party at Il Fornello this week? Let’s find some good options for you on the menu. We are busy, stressed, creatures of habit. As you become more aware of what you eat, you start to automatically make better choices. It is like magic. Making small changes makes way for bigger changes, like eliminating certain foods, or following a particular dietary protocol.
No two nutrition appointments look the same. Most people need help to be held accountable. Some people tend to sabotage their efforts when they get to a certain weight for example. Some find emotional turmoil sets them on a path to the chip aisle. Others “know too much” and are afraid to enjoy life when it comes to food. I have met people who are on restricted diets and just need some ideas of how to make it work. For many of the clients that have had lasting success accountability is the key.
Will this cost a fortune?
Most people think that working with a Nutritionist is too expensive. You will be pleasantly surprised to hear that we have the best deal in town for nutritional consulting. Dr. Danby, our clinic owner and one of the amazing Naturopaths at The Root of Health knows the amazing health value of good nutrition, alongside of supplementation and lifestyle change. We don’t want there to be barriers to you HEALING, and changing your life. If you are a patient of one of the NDs in the clinic, you can have unlimited Nutrition access for $49 a month. We can meet weekly in person, chat on the phone a couple times a week, email back and forth with questions and answers, etc. You will get as much support as you ask for.
Time for a Change?
This Elizabeth Gilbert quote resonates with me. It really does. I can recognize when someone is tired of their own bullshit (those repeating habits, those self sabotaging things we do), and I am always thankful to work with them. Often, I see someone become more AWARE of their own bullshit or narrative as we work together. Recognizing your own patterns and triggers has a profound impact on what you put in your mouth. I would love to work with you on your healing journey, regardless of where you are right now. Real change is possible, and you will be amazed how great you can feel when your eating gets more on track.
This is a great time to start. Any time is a great time to start, but NOW is particularly awesome. Imagine being more conscious of your nutrition before the craziness of the holiday season starts? This is about making better choices, NOT about being so restricted that you have no fun. Call today and make a month long commitment to lasting health change.
About Paula: I’m a Certified Nutritional Practitioner with a passion for helping people find realistic and meaningful health improvements with food. I’m also a busy mom who knows that change is hard (but SO worth it!!).