This blog was written by Lori H. as a guest blogger with NIFS.
As a busy mother with a full-time job and a freelance business on the side, I know that I don't always make the healthiest food choices―for myself or my family. It's too tempting to grab fast food on the dash between work and the Girl Scout meeting. Too often I find myself completely stumped about what to fix for supper that will be easy, healthy, and satisfying.
Then there are my family's specific health concerns. I suffer from increasingly troublesome acid reflux and low blood sugar. And ever since I got a desk job and gave up caffeine (which is appetite suppressing) nearly 20 years ago, I've been carrying around an extra 25 pounds. My husband has high blood pressure, so we also need to watch our sodium intake. And our daughter is a frustratingly picky eater.
When I saw that NIFS provides personal nutrition coaching with a registered dietitian, I knew that it was something I needed to do. Like everything else, though, I procrastinated about investigating the possibility. I knew that I would probably hear some things I didn't want to hear. But the need to make a change finally overwhelmed me and I connected with the professionals at NIFS.
The first step was to fill out a three-day food diary covering two weekdays and one weekend day. When I announced to my coworkers and Facebook friends that I was undertaking this endeavor in the two weeks between my birthday and Christmas, they said I was brave (and crazy). There are so many temptations this time of year!
As I kept the diary, I found myself trying to avoid eating junky snacks because I didn't want to have to write them down. (Maybe this would be a good continuing exercise to keep me mindful of what I eat in the future.) But in the end, when someone waves a hot-out-of-the-oven chocolate-chip cookie in my face, there's not much I can do to stop myself.
One day at lunch I ordered a beef dish at the Thai place, so that I could accurately represent what I tend to eat. But they got the order wrong and brought chicken! The next day was our company Christmas lunch, for which I had already pre-ordered the chicken dish. So I think most of my meals during the diary period ended up being chicken! I wasn't trying to game the system, I promise!
After dinner tonight I will be done with my food diary and can send it back to NIFS. The next step will be to set up a meeting to hear where I can make some improvements. I have a funny feeling that I'm going to hear that I need to exercise more. Finding time for that will be another challenge, especially now that it's too cold and snowy outside to go on my usual lunchtime walks. Stay tuned and see what I find out!
Disclosure: NIFS discloses that it does remit monies to Lori H. for other nonrelated services. However, this venture with the nutritionist is being conducted at the will and request of Lori H., and Lori H. is not being compensated for the authorship of this blog.