Hi awesome readers! This is the first blog of 2020! Happy New Year!
I want to talk about something today that may strike a cord with you. It’s a topic I definitely touched on in book #2 (shameless plug!), but I want to spend some time on it again today.
I have found that the current trend in the consumer mainstream is overlooking basic nutrition concepts in lieu of big, dazzling “fixes.” In other words, in an effort to avoid the stuff we desperately need to change about our eating and exercise habits, we look for the next supplement…the next progressive food movement…the next…anything…rather than dealing with our inner demons.
Since I am not sure my brain is translating my thoughts to words properly, let me give you an analogy. Part of the reason I struggle to crank out even one blog post a month is because I’m hustlin’ through life as a full-time doctoral student (on top of a job and parenting, etc.). That said, when I have a big assignment or paper due, random organizational or cleaning projects seem to get my sudden, undivided attention.
Just the other day, instead of doing homework (sorry Dr. W, if you’re listening…), I completely gutted and reorganized my pantry. On another recent day, I completely reorganized my earring collection. Yet another time, I decided that it was suddenly SUPER URGENT to dust all the baseboards and clean all the ceiling fans in the house.
It isn’t that the random projects I was completing weren’t valuable; they were. After all, my house needs cleaning and organizing, nevertheless. The point I am really trying to make is, the only reason I was doing those projects RIGHT THEN is to avoid the homework I was supposed to be doing. Think of it like next-level procrastination with a fringe benefit of tidiness.
Let me give you a more nutrition-y example. In my office a week or two ago, was a young gentleman in his mid-30s. He was at least 40 pounds overweight, and was coming to me for an initial consult and some guidance on improving his fitness and health through nutrition.
This guy admits that he eats a very irregular pattern of meals, anywhere from 0-4 meals any given day. These meals consist nearly exclusively of fast food combo meals, and he guzzles nearly a gallon of sugary beverages every day.
When we started talking basic fundamentals of behavior change and meal pattern consistency (for starters), he looked clearly disappointed and annoyed. When I pointed out that he seemed rather distraught, he admitted he was. He told me he was disappointed that we were “just going through the basics.” He thought I was going to draw his blood and tell him how to optimize nutrient intake based on his DNA (nutrigenetics, a subject merely in its infancy in the research, frankly).
The thing is, a knowledge of nutrigenetics, whether interesting or not, is not applicable in his case. The old saying “don’t get the cart before the horse,” has never been more evident than it was with him. Knowing what genetic variants he has does not change the fact that he needs a more consistent eating pattern. Knowing what genetic variants he has does not change the fact that he is exclusively living on sugary beverages rather than water.
Developing a basic, simple, plan of action to address the huge, gigantic barriers to entry for good health is needed; but this guy did not want that. He wanted to avoid the big, huge, changes he knew he needed to make, and instead use nutrigenetics as smoke and mirrors to disguise the reality.
Guys and dolls: don’t miss the small stuff. Don’t miss the chance you have to make this one meal a little more vegetable-rich. Don’t miss the benefits of replacing one sugary beverage with a big glass of water. Don’t miss the small opportunities to improve, or the “big stuff” won’t matter anyway.
Love ya; mean it.
xo – Casey