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Gina Cousineau

By Gina Cousineau

I am hyperaware of people’s food choices. That being said, I am concerned only with my own plate during my meals, planning for all scenarios, especially when away from home.

When I am dining with others, though, it seems that they become “more” aware of their food choices, often expressing concern, and even shame, with what they might order or put on their plates. I try to assure them that I am not here to judge anyone.

I know the food chaos that exists in most people’s lives is not their fault, as we are victims of our environments, but that doesn’t mean you can’t choose to calm the chaos. Fact is, our lives today are tumultuous.

I know from my interactions with many individuals that people are overworked, malnourished (not getting proper nutrients), under-exercised, lacking sleep, and just plain overwhelmed, so they end up succumbing to fast food choices or just tossing anything into their mouths.

Take a moment to look at the areas of your life where you have routine and acknowledge how, and if, that regimen benefits you. Personal hygiene is often an area people adhere to—skin care, dental care, bathing, etc.

Perhaps you are diligent about your preventative care screening, though I must share that most of my clients are not. Do you have a yearly physical, is your bloodwork current, and are you up to date on your mammogram, colonoscopy, and prostate screening, just to name a few?

I will acknowledge that these things are easier to adhere to, as they happen with less frequency. When it comes to nutrition, making food choices never ends and can require much effort.

The thought of planning, shopping, preparing, cooking, serving, eating, and tidying up after, even as I type, seems overwhelming, yet ordering that which you crave with Uber Eats, could be much more appealing.

It is here where reality must come to the forefront. No matter your food approach, meat eater or vegan, no planning and forethought, in terms of your food choices, can wreak havoc not only on your health, but on that almighty scale, which dictates your mood every time you step on it.

Weight moving in the direction you like—happiness and joy. Weight moving in the other direction—sadness and despair.

So, let’s strategize how to move toward calmness in your life when it comes to food, acknowledging that doing your own research is precarious at best, as your internet search can take you down a path of destruction when it comes to nutrition.

I suggest you consider a basic nutrition class at your community college, or simply order the book that is used in that course. This will be your best source of solid science and evidence-based nutrition to guide your way.

Even easier, head to myplate.gov for great tips and tricks to move toward a better nutrition approach.

Beyond that, here is a reminder that my complimentary webinar series begins this month, recorded for your convenience, focusing on advocating for your health and reducing your risk of lifestyle diseases. Register at mamagslifestyle.com and wait for the pop-up to appear in the center of the page.

And a reminder to my loyal readers, I am also offering you the opportunity to participate in a complimentary 50-minutes private session, in-person in my home office in San Clemente or via Zoom. Register and indicate which newspaper you read. In the next few weeks, you will receive an application to become eligible to participate.

Gina Cousineau is a local nutrition expert who specializes in weight loss and helping her clients improve their health. As a trained chef with her BS in Dietetics and MS in Integrative and Functional Nutrition, her goal is to help her clients enjoy every morsel they consume, learning how to move with ease in the kitchen while using their “food as medicine.” Subscribe to her weekly newsletter for complimentary cooking classes, recipes, webinars and more at mamagslifestyle.com, or reach her at mamag@mamagslifestyle.com and 949.842.9975.

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