‘Do something today that your future self will thank you for.’
Two of my biggest passions in life are health & nutrition. I’m especially intrigued by the enormous power and impact food has over the human mind and body. We can either become addicted to certain foods, we might use food as a stimuli; for example we might turn to food when we’re bored, when we’re sad, when we’re stressed OR food can have a positive impact on our health and thereby help to prevent many chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, obesity, cardiovascular disease, depression, to mention a few.
Eating healthy is a form of self-respect
Awareness is key when it comes to a healthy mindset and a healthy body. As well as the importance of making better choices. Healthier choices. No one is perfect, and of course one is entitled to indulge every now and then (what would life be without indulgence!?) However, you should always bare in mind that eating healthy is a form of self-respect. You can’t control everything in your life, but you can control what you put into your body and you can control your thoughts.
A willingness to change
When it comes to nutrition I strongly believe that one is never fully learned – it’s important to constantly read about the subject to keep up to date with new scientific research. Moreover, it’s vital that we view information about nutrition and health crictically, especially the massive information we obtain from the internet and magazines (with a degree in journalism I know how important this is, especially in the Digital Age of today). There’s an overflow of information, a lot of which should be taken with a grain of salt –Critical thinking is key. Health should be regarded as a lifestyle. I don’t believe in fad diets and quick fixes – you wont become healthy overnight, since a healthy lifestyle requires consistency, knowledge, awareness and most important a willingness to change. Although acchieving optimal health migh seem unattainable at times it’s far from impossible, in fact it’s rather easy – you just need to have a desire to change. Every step counts.
Stop comparing yourself
We are all different, with different needs. Therefore it’s necessary that we stop comparing ourselves to others. Listen to your unique body; what does it need? Be aware of how the mind & body cooperate. ‘Our minds and emotions play a crictical role in our health – good health depends on a balance of mind, body and environment.’ (Hippocrates) I myself strongly believe in following more of a plant based diet, not only for myself but for the planet and the animals. However, that doesn’t mean I would force it upon everyone else (although cutting down on red meat & dairy products and eating more fruit/ & veggies, starchy vegetables and legumes is beneficial to all of us). Instead you need to choose a diet and lifestyle that you feel comfortable with; a lifestyle that is accessible and easy to maintain. I can’t stress this enough – health is a lifestyle.
Today I’m giving myself a pat on the back since I successfully completed a course in nutrition from the online education provider Shaw Academy; Advanced Diploma in Principles of Nutrition. The course, which takes 12 weeks to complete, is rather comprehensive, and the course provides the student with a great deal of information. The course is internationally approved. Important to point out is that I’m far from an expert after completing the course. I’m by no means a certified nutritionist or dietitian – a better term would be nutrition advisor. Nonetheless, after completing the course I gained plenty of new knowledge and skills within nutrition, and I feel more confident both talking and writing about the subject. Since I’m eager to learn more – always chasing more knowledge – I’m already looking for other courses in nutrition.
The Advanced Course in Principles of Nutrition consist of three modules, each four weeks long; Special Diets, Diet & Disease and Life cycle. During the special diets semester topics such as digestive disorders, food allergy and intolerance, treating nutritional deficiencies and vegetarian & raw food diets were addressed. The diet & disease semester covered topics such as eating disorders & mental health, diets to treat diabetes & obesity, diet & cancer and how to deliver effective nutritional advice. The last semester contained topics related to the life cycle – optimum nutrition for mother and baby, nutrition for children, nutrition for teenagers and optimizing nutrition as we age.