It's not enough to know what to eat. You have to know how to eat as well.
After being diagnosed with hypothyroidism, health afficionado Jennifer Berman finds out that the kale juice she drinks every morning is a no-no. Writing in The New York Times Berman says:
Kale, which I juiced every morning, tops the list [of foods to avoid], followed by broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels Sprouts and collard greens—the cruciferous vegetables I consumed in large quantities because they are thought to prevent cancer, which runs in my family.
Every morning. Large quantities.
Over-consuming even healthy food has a downside. What you choose to eat is only part of the healthy-eating equation. You have to think about why, when and how much too.
When, why and how much get short-shrift in the current culture of nutrition.
But they shouldn't. Knowing these behaviors is the key to healthy eating habits.
The rest of Berman's healthy diet has a downside for her hypothyroidism too. Also on the list of no-no's?
And flax—as in the seeds—high in omega 3's, that I sprinkled on cereal and blended in strawberry almond milk smoothies. Also forbidden: almonds and strawberries, not to mention soy, peaches, peanuts, corn, radishes, rutabaga and spinach.
I want to be clear, here's what I'm not saying. I'm not saying that:
- Berman is responsible for her hypothyroidism.
- Kale and other vegetables are harmful and should be avoided.
- It's time to run out and buy a box of Twinkies. (Though you might be surprised by what Berman writes about Twinkies at the end of her article!)
Berman writes that her world was rocked further when she went to the dentist. Do you snack on candy and sodas all day long, he asked.
What did he take me for? No, I answered. I don't eat sugar and drink only fresh vegetable juices—no longer kale, of course, but carrot and celery, which I'm still allowed. And filtered water with lemon.
Sounds healthy, no? Like the diet we all aspire to adopt.
"You'd be better off with chocolate and cola," he said. Apparently the natural sugars in fruit and vegetable juices can cause decay, and lemon, though high in vitamin C and bioflavonoids which may prevent cancer, had eroded the enamel that protected my teeth.
What's this got to do with feeding your kids? Spend less time focusing on what your kids eat and more time teaching them how to eat.
Three principles of healthy eating translate nutrition into behavior:
This is not giving up!
When your children know how to behave in relation to food (the when, why and how much of eating) they will automatically get the what right too.
It's something to think about. It might even be something to read about!
I discuss all of these ideas in It's Not About the Broccoli. It's out tomorrow!!!
~Changing the conversation from nutrition to habits.~