Grass Roots Nutrition: Girl Scout Cookies
Dear Holly: Do you ever eat cookies? -Girl Scout
Dear Girl Scout:
I get this question all the time. As soon as a new acquaintances find out that I’m a dietitian, they’re steering their carts away from me in the grocery store or trying to cover their plate at a restaurant or making bold (usually false) assumptions about my diet.
It’s too easy to assume that health is all or nothing; you’re either eating the whole sleeve (or box) of thin mints, or being a martyr and having only iceburg lettuce and celery.
Luckily, health is a journey that resides somewhere in between those dire extremes. As a dietitian, I’m not the food police. I am not going to pull your cart over at the grocery store, nor will I write you a ticket for ordering french fries. My diploma did not change my taste buds. I am a foodie before I am a dietitian. If a dish doesn’t taste good, I’m not interested in eating it any more than you are.
I grew up with a prolific vegetable garden in the back yard and a mother who cooked dinner each night. Spring marked the beginning of fresh, delicious produce, from sugar peas to delicate asparagus. Summer marched through sweet peppers and delicious tomatoes, and Fall produced a bounty of fresh pumpkin, sweet corn and lots of purple pole beans, which my dad chose to plant because they were easier and more fun for us kids to pick. I don’t know anyone else who made applesauce during their childhood.
It wasn’t until I went to college and had canned mushy green beans for the first time that I understood why people didn’t like vegetables. Real food, minimally processed and cooked well, is phenomenal. I think the reason we use so much salt, condiments and seasonings is because we’re using poor quality ingredients.
At times I also joyfully indulge. I like to make or buy the very best version of a treat and enjoy it slowly. Having a low-quality cake or brownie from a box isn’t going to do much to curb a sweet tooth.
I’m also human, prone to the same stresses and worries that we all are. I’m not perfect, but I’m usually ok with that. Nutella is my kryptonite: I have not developed any moderation there. I allow a jar in my house about once per season, as it is quickly devoured. When I was in college and homesick, having a warm mug of my mom’s applesauce helped me to feel better.
Overall, I do eat well, try to manage stress with productive outlets and create my home and office environments to support my wellness goals. But yes, I do eat cookies, and you can too!
Ready for a Real Food Wellness Challenge? Start the month with 21 Days of Real Food! Click to enroll in the challenge; we launch the 1st of each month.
What’s your question for Holly? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information and to make an appointment to work on your goals, visit Grass Roots Nutrition, LLC and BrideBod, owned by me, Holly Larson, a Registered Dietitian. Visit me online at hollylarsonrd.com and follow us on Facebook. Have a delicious, healthy day!