Kristy’s Nutritional Beliefs

Kristy Regan NutritionistI believe in eating whole foods – food that hasn’t been processed – the items that don’t come in a box and are generally found on the perimeter of the grocery store. I believe, when possible, in buying organic and shopping local. In going to the farmers market or co-op, in meeting farmers and learning about where food came from.

I believe in reading processed food labels so we know what we’re buying. If you don’t read labels now, what you find there might surprise you. Foods don’t need to contain unpronounceable ingredients.

Beyond the basic goodness of whole organic foods, I believe that each person is vastly different in what sort of diet works for them. A lot of it depends on their state of health. For some people, eating prebiotic foods like beans or broccoli might be extremely beneficial. For someone with altered gut bacteria, it might further feed an overgrowth. That’s where I come in as a nutritionist – I can help sort out what is right for individuals in their current health state and continue to support them as that state becomes more optimal.

I believe that many diseases can be prevented or reversed through our diet. It can be very hard work to make changes, but it can enhance and even save our lives.

I believe that it can take time to get used to a healthy diet. It’s kind of like relationships – if you didn’t have great role models than what you’re used to might not be what’s best for you. When you get used to eating whole foods that are creatively seasoned and then you try processed foods again, you’ll notice a world of difference. I used to have a huge sweet tooth until I stopped eating processed sugar for several years. Tastes can and do change.

I believe it’s helpful to take cues from how we feel and look. If the feeling is bloated, tired, cranky, or depressed, there could be a link back to diet. Our skin, nails and hair are greatly affected by diet. Brittle, ridged or soft nails, thinning hair, dark circles or troubled skin can all be due to diet. Our digestion is also a huge sign of how our diet is working for us. Constipation, diarrhea, and other IBS symptoms can be a sign of illness and/or a sign that diet changes are needed. These changes can be very, very challenging and even stressful. I can help take the guesswork out of a new diet and offer key information.

I believe in beautiful, glorious food. Trying new recipes. Food so fresh from the garden that you can still smell the sun on it. Simple food that is well seasoned. Intricate food that has been loved and transformed into flavors we hadn’t imagined. I believe in setting a pleasing table when possible. That might mean flowers, a tablecloth, or the “good” dishes. I believe in expressing gratitude for the meal we’re about to eat. We can thank the farmers, the truck drivers, the grocery store clerks, our friends or family, or our god/universe, however we choose. When we take time to acknowledge the beauty of our lives we welcome more into it.

I believe in mindfulness. Not guilt. Guilt as a motivator is way overrated. I want to know what someone eats when they feel their best. Which foods make someone feel energized and healthy. I also want to know what their comfort foods are, what reminds them of home or their best friend. What they turn to when they’re tired or sad. Because ALL of these states matter, they are all valid parts of us. Mindfulness helps us see what we’re eating and perhaps why. It doesn’t mean we always have to put down the ice cream. It means we really want to understand why we’re picking it up. Are we hungry? Is there a feeling in the background we want to silence? If yes, can we be with it in any way? Can we really, really enjoy that ice cream? Feel it’s cool creaminess as it melts in our mouth? How do we feel after eating it? How present can we be to ourselves, our joy or pain, in any given moment?

I believe that sometimes food is just fuel. We may be in a hurry. Or eating something that is really good for us that is not our absolute favorite thing. I think that’s ok sometimes. It doesn’t mean we have to gulp it. We can do our best to eat mindfully in our car, on the go, in between traffic lights or at our desk. Sure, it’s great to also get up and take a five-minute walk, or eat with a friend. It goes back to mindfulness and acknowledging that our circumstances are not always optimal.

I believe in the joy of sharing food in community. I first hand understand the sadness and frustration that can come forward when one has to be on a special diet and can not always share food the way they’d like. This is a time when community becomes even more important. People can nourish each other. The classes and dinners I offer include education while also focusing on enjoying food in community. I know not everyone has access to healthy food. I know there are food deserts in all major cities and in rural areas. But the more we educate ourselves and accept support, the more we can make informed decisions to nourish ourselves and our communities.