March is National Nutrition Month, a nutrition education campaign to support sound food and activity choices from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Here’s the scoop: there is no such thing as a perfect diet! We each have likes, dislikes, and traditions. Humans are social eaters: breaking bread is building community and part of the foundation of cultures, traditions, family, and living life to its fullest. Certain foods have important emotional ties and yes, food provides some happiness. For instance, I have Irish roots and when I was growing up my mother always made Irish soda bread for St. Patrick’s Day. I carry on this tradition and relive very happy memories each time I do. Food nourishes the body and the soul.
Teaching nutrition in a culinary college has opened my eyes to just how exciting and creative a healthful diet can be. I think I have learned just as much from my students as they have learned from me! But being a nutrition professor and dietitian doesn’t mean I don’t indulge in pizza sometimes, or ice cream or chips. I do, we all do! My equation for living a fulfilled life is balance plus pleasure. Fruits, veggies, and lean proteins provide my diet with a balanced foundation plus a sense of well-being. Everything else is simply icing on the cake (sometimes literally!).
Find your balance and eat well, no matter your lifestyle. Happy eating!