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By Gina Cousineau
The old adage of having one’s cake and eating it, too, has many interpretations, but according to the Cambridge Dictionary, its definition is “to do or get two good things at the same time, especially things that are not usually possible to have together.”
That is, in essence, what I am trying to get for my clients. I want them to enjoy foods that are both nutritious and delicious, as well as help them get to their weight goal, improve their health, and maintain a sustainable diet approach for a lifetime. No small feat, I will say.
Today, people know more about nutrition that ever before, yet we are sicker and more overweight than ever.
Unfortunately, the amount of misinformation at our fingertips is clouding the mountains of science and evidence that clearly show the paths to health and wellness. So, along with providing basic nutrition education to each and every client I have the privilege of working with, I must counter the noise that is preventing them from reaching and maintaining their lofty goals.
Most people I encounter believe that nutrition is an all-or-none approach. I either get to “cheat” and eat that cake, or I am going to deprive myself of those extra calories to help myself lose weight. This punitive and restrictive approach leads to disordering eating across the board, and ultimately a lifetime struggle to achieve weight and health goals.
I have clearly spoken in the past that while young, through our 40s, our bodies are amazingly resilient and can counter the effects of all we throw at it, including yo-yo dieting and unhealthy food/lifestyle choices.
But after the age of 50, we start to see the compounding effects of these lifestyle choices rear their ugly head. And while we may not believe that “you can teach an old dog new tricks,” I see, every day, clients beginning to learn how, and why a new approach to living can and will help them live long, healthy, independent lives.
The human body is remarkable, to say the least. I have seen individuals come to me with high cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure—the trifecta of unhealthy—and completely “right” the ship.
And while this will require time and effort, with the right team of medical-care practitioners, self-advocacy, and a little education and hand-holding, my clients begin to heal and flourish.
In my experience, the No. 1 reason people choose to not work with me is for fear of failure with yet another diet. While the thought of maneuvering through uncharted territory is terrifying—as they have tried this many times before without sustainable results—their fears are warranted.
That being said, if we consider that “smart people are willing to change,” and that through enlightenment, education and the learning of new things, my clients are pleasantly surprised at how they can shift their brain and start to engage in simple habits with food choices and movement that can be life-saving.
To help counter your fear, I encourage you to join me this month in a complimentary virtual “in-kitchen experience and webinar series” for people who “hate to cook.”
Each Tuesday night (all sessions are recorded for your convenience), I will do a little nutrition education regarding “hot topics,” and then using food stuff from Trader Joe’s or your grocery store, we will cook a simple and delicious wholesome meal together.
Head to my website and register today. And let’s begin this journey together of “having our cake and eating it, too”—with no shame or guilt.
Gina Cousineau sees clients virtually and in person out of her San Clemente office. Her extensive education—a BS in dietetics and MS in integrative and functional nutrition—chef training, and 30-plus years as a fitness professional allow her to help clients lose weight and improve their health. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org, 949.842.9975, and on Instagram and Facebook @mamagslifestyle. Register for her complimentary weekly newsletter at mamagslifestyle.com.