Nutrition Advice I Wish I Had 30 Years Ago

My memoir would be titled, “nutrition advice to my younger self”.  If I could time travel back to my 20s, there are 4 things I would pay more attention to around the intersection of food and health. But all is not lost: The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.

1. All nutrition advice about food should be filtered through your personal lens.

Every piece of health and/or nutrition advice in books and online is directed at some generalized, average person. You do not have an average body. So alway ask: (1) is this true for me? and/or (2) How can I test the assumptions being made about my body?

You might need to conduct a Quantified Self (QS) experiment.

2. Doctors don’t care enough about food. 

I say doctors but I mean the medical profession as a whole. I once had a medical person prescribe me four medicines to take for “chest wall pain”. Before I took them I did some research and a short QS experiment. I found that if I ate before having coffee I didn’t have the issue. When I reported back to the prescriber they said, “Oh, if a food intervention helps you should do that.” 

Initiate a conversation with your healthcare provider about the possibility that maybe drugs shouldn’t be the first thing tried to correct an issue.

3. Nutrition advice to my younger self: Beware Restaurants.

I love supporting locally owned restaurants. But … salt!! Undisclosed salt.

Salt has proven to be the cause of a host of health issues yet we still use it liberally. Sadly, small restaurants don’t have to provide nutritional information about their food. And I haven’t found one that does.

Chains with 10+ units are supposed to provide this eye-opening info but I don’t usually want to eat at chains. So if you want to eat at locally owned restaurants you’re at an information disadvantage. Project: Find out what it would take to get all restaurants to share their nutritional information? If you have advice and/or info for this project-LMK!!!

4. Kitchens are super important places.

Since being diagnosed with high blood pressure I’ve had to relook at many aspects of my life. Eating healthier is my first line of defense. But I live in a food desert and have other challenges that make eating well harder than it should be. (Anyone else have unhealthy family foodways to fight?)

One way I’ve found to make eating easier is by leveling up my kitchen. It’s an adventure that I’ll write more about over the next few weeks. But the short answer is that the nutrition advice to my younger self around kitchens is “make yours fabulous!”

I have a load of work to do around this and related topics. If you do also, let’s do some of it together. Sign up to get my monthly “coming soon” emails.