Many people are intrigued by the topic of nutrition. Providing your body the right nutrients is vital for living a healthy life. Proper nutrition will help anyone from young athletes wanting to perform better at their sports, to men and women who want to get off their blood pressure medications.
Truth is, there is a lot of questions when it comes to eating properly. There are different schools of thought, lots of conflicting opinions, and so many trendy diets promising to solve every problem. The overload of information can make it difficult to know what to do and lead to frustration.
In this interview Nicole Cormier RD, LDN has taken the time to answer questions regarding how develop to a healthy nutrition practice. She is the Founder of Delicious Living Nutrition, Inc., published author of Everything Guide to Nutrition, $5 a Meal Vegetarian College Cookbook, and 201 Organic Smoothies and Juices for a Healthy Pregnancy, radio show host and local food enthusiast. In addition to her growing nutrition counseling practice, she has partnered with a cold-pressed juice company and market store, The Local Juice & Local Farm Fare Market. Recently her and partner, Jen Villa have opened The Local Juice in Hyannis a great location to find juices, smoothies, grain bowls, and other items to incorporate into your nutrition practice!
Read on to learn more about what creating a healthy nutrition practice is all about...
What is your personal philosophy on Nutrition?
It is about creating your own nutrition practice. It is about learning to choose foods that are necessary and nurturing for you. Building a positive healthy relationship with food and understanding the importance of how you eat throughout the day to balance your energy levels.
What are the most common mistakes you see?
Many people focus on calories instead of nutrient dense foods
Missing protein and fiber at your meal = blood sugar crash and an imbalance in energy/blood sugars
Going too long without eating (more than 5 hours). After 5 hours of not eating our blood sugars begin to drop and it is a set up for cravings. Your body begins to look for a quick source of energy. This is very common for construction workers, lawyers, career women, ect. who focus on work throughout the day. When they come home from work and have a meal after not eating all day they have a hard time stopping. The body begins to store what they are eating.
Do you recommend counting calories?
No I do not. Shift your focus to eating proteins and fibers throughout the day. It is how your body will utilize those calories. A calorie is not a calorie. It matters if your body will use those calories efficiently. Proteins and fibers serve a purpose unlike calories from processed foods.
What do you wish you knew then that you know now?
The importance and benefits of local food. The importance of building local food into your nutrition practice.
What are the foods that you recommend eating daily?
Plant proteins, local/seasonal vegetables, seasonal fruits and whole grains
Where does someone brand new to nutrition begin?
The easiest thing to do as a first step is to identify protein and fiber at each of your meals. For something to be considered protein it should have about 7 grams of protein and for fiber 3 grams. Once you begin to practice this you will experience the feeling of balanced blood sugars and energy from your foods.
Meet a farmer and look at how you shop
Is there a certain diet that should be followed?
No, just learn to create nutrition practice. Be a confident consumer and make some connection to your local farmers.
Does avoiding carbohydrates help someone to lose weight?
It does temporarily; however whole food carbs are your body’s main source of energy and including them throughout your meals will allow your body to work at its optimal level and create a long term healthy nutrition practice . So why choose to eliminate them now. Cutting out carbs is a fad diet. The earlier you start having a healthy nutrition practice the earlier you will reach success.
Feeding into the fad diets are prolonging your success. Good eye candy but at the end of the day it is not a nutrition practice.
What are your thoughts on alcohol?
I love Craft Beer. I think it is important for someone to also establish a healthy relationship with their alcohol consumption and drink what they enjoy. I think it is the same message; to know where it comes from whether it is a small brewer or knowing where the grapes came from for your wine, and even local vodka. You can still connect to where it is coming from and appreciate it in moderate amounts. Remember not to compensate your nutrition for your alcohol.
Why is it important to eat locally?
When you choose to eat locally you are able to consume more nutrients. All your vitamins and minerals come from the soil and absorb through the roots and travel through the stem to the food that you are eating. If you choose produce that is organically grown they are going to utilize compost in their soil and have nutrient dense soil that will create a more nutrient dense produce. It being local means it is going to be consumed closer to the time it was harvested. When you go to a farmers market, the farmer harvested the food that morning so the nutrition is at its peak when it's picked. It also supports your community.
How does someone make time for cooking/preparing foods?
Organize your pantry to have your proteins and fibers readily available. Proteins and grains can be organized on different shelves. Train your brain to go into your kitchen and put together a protein, grain, and vegetable.
Creating a grab and go system in your kitchen so you can go home at any time and make a meal in ten minutes. No matter what. It is fine if you choose to stay in the kitchen longer. It is important to always have a prepared grain like a quinoa, brown rice, spelt berries for the week. Also, having sweet potatoes and having vegetables readily available.
Incorporate grain bowls like making 4 at the same time.
How does someone incorporate juices and smoothies into their diet?
Juices should go in between your meals as a multi vitamin not as a meal replacement. They should not replace fruits and vegetables throughout your day. They help to repair but do not replace.
- Smoothies are great for a snack but you still want to make sure you have protein and fiber in your smoothies . An example of how to build a smoothie would be to have protein , greens, a fruit and a liquid. A protein could be chia seeds, hemp hearts, sesame butter, almond butter; vegetables could be any greens like kale, spinach, pea greens; fruits could be berries, banana, pineapple, and for liquid water, coconut water, and almond milk are all good choices.
What made you interested in Nutrition?
In high school I took a psychology class and my first project was on eating disorders. It was the first stimulation to think of Nutrition as a career. I worked in food service at the hospital under dieticians. Those two things together led me to start looking at nutrition as a major .
What do you enjoy the most about what you do?
The relationships that I have established with the local farmers. Having the opportunity to share my passion with my community and clients. To help others improve their own nutrition practice
If you have more questions for Nicole you can contact her through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (508)813-9282).
Also, stop by The Local Juice to try some of their amazing juices, smoothies, and more!