Nutrition is a crucial component to caring for your image, from the inside out. Unless this is your first time reading my blog, you already know how I shifted my lifestyle – and waistline – by losing over 35 pounds to get healthier under doctor’s orders. When it comes to eating the right things, I’m both a believer and a doer!
Making the shift into mindful eating isn’t easy for a lot of people. Denise Ford is a Certified Nutrition Consultant who brings such an excitement to the table – pun firmly intended. I’ve known Denise for a while now, and I think it’s her unique perspective that fuels the excitement for her clients.
I’ve never heard a nutritionist talk about not focusing on calories, but focusing on the quality of the food. For decades, Americans, falling prey to fad diet books, have traveled up and down the scale over and over again, never really understanding the basic precepts of good nutrition. Americans have lived in fear of food thanks to these diet fads. Denise reorients people to “thoroughly enjoy food again. According to Denise, “a lot of people eat out of fear of gaining weight, or fear of not being able to lose weight. Eating should be a pleasure.” Wow! Could this get you excited about eating and cooking?
Denise custom tailors programs around her individual client’s needs because, “every body has different needs, likes, dislikes, and lifestyle needs. This is why diets don’t work. Diets don’t account for individuality. If diets worked, they would have worked a long time ago! The whole lifestyle has to come into play. One lifestyle does not fit all.”
Yet, in the simplicity of her process is something very sophisticated. This is something I found similar to the way I work, which fascinated me.
She starts out working with each client by creating a lifestyle profile. “I really want to know why people are eating in the first place. Why do you eat the foods you eat, the way you eat? What motivates the way you eat?”
There’s also a relearning stage of the process to let go of bad habits by understanding the “cause and effect” to food. By understanding how food affects the body it’s easier to make better and healthier choices that can give the body more energy and help in a weight loss program, if necessary.
Personal shopping at the grocery store is also part of her program. It’s not enough to be cognizant that most grocery stores are designed with the best groceries, like produce, meat, dairy, and grains along the periphery walls. In other words, don’t let the healthy looking packaging and surroundings fool you! Denise insists that it’s still crucial to learn what to steer clear of and what to shop for. She’s a big believer in eating whole foods versus what she calls the “I don’t know foods.”
Throughout the process, Denise wants to shatter misconceptions that healthy food must taste bad. “Everything must taste good or it doesn’t get past my lips,” she said. As part of Denise’s training at Bauman College: Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts, she learned the importance of menu planning. So she learned to create recipes and was challenged to validate why she would choose certain foods for their health benefits and for supporting the body. “Most people want recipes, to have foods they can cook fast and well, and be nutritious.”
Denise adds that, “Americans highly value food, but we do not value the act of eating food. Most people are done eating within ten to fifteen minutes and aren’t eating together or eating at the table.” And this really gets back to the idea of being a mindful eater. Denise likes to use the line from Marc David’s book The Slow Down Diet, “the slower you eat, the faster you metabolize.” When you eat slower, it allows your body to better absorb the nutrients. It also helps you to “honor the food in front of you and where it came from.”
By bringing together a background including a degree in economics and fitness training, Denise is a professional who’s found her true calling. She makes a compelling case for eating well when she said, “you can eat the best food in the world, but if you’re eating in a stressed state, it will inhibit your body from being able to absorb the nutrients. How you’re eating is just as important as what you’re eating.”
You can reach out to Denise by connecting to her LinkedIn profile.
Joseph Rosenfeld helps high-profile individuals revitalize, manage, and be secure in their personal visual brand. Visit JosephRosenfeld.com for details.