People often assume I eat perfectly because I am a dietitian. They think I only buy organic, follow all the trendiest diets and never eat junk or dessert. This then leads to an awkward sort of confessional where people blurt out the terrible things they just ate or how they know they shouldn’t be eating certain things. “Oh, I know this is terrible for me…” “Yes, I am eating pizza. Don’t judge me.” “Don’t let the dietitian see.” “Oh, let me take a picture of the dietitian eating a piece of candy.” It’s pretty weird.
The truth is, I chose to become a dietitian because I love food. I love to eat all kinds of food. I love to cook. I love to try new restaurants and new cuisines. But I also love food because it is a powerful, multifaceted aspect of our lives.
- Food is universal. Everyone, regardless of race, belief, age or gender, has to eat to survive. Therefore, everyone has some level of interest or investment in food.
- Food is special. Food is part of almost every celebration: birthdays, weddings, holidays. We have different foods for different occasions. Different foods for different cultures.
- Food is powerful. Food can either help make you healthy and help treat different conditions or diseases, or it can slowly kill you from the inside out. Food has the power to directly affect our bodies and how we feel.
My appreciation for food probably stems from how I was raised. We always ate home-cooked meals around the dining room table. I was taught to cook at an early age and both my parents love food. All our vacations and time together focus equally on the planned activities as well as what the next meal will involve.
So, before you get down on your knees and confess your most recent sins to the next dietitian you meet, realize that they have a true appreciation for food and are not going to judge you. Unless you just ate six deep-fried Twinkies and a large deep dish pizza all by yourself. Then, you’re definitely being judged.