Top 5 things I learned after 1 month of Nutrition school, and a few reasons to say “Thanks!”

It’s been a busy month! Yesterday’s post was my 30th.  Over the weekend, Cravings Gone Clean surprassed 10,000 views, which was super exciting.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for reading!  I really appreciate everyone who reads, subscribes and tries these recipes!  Do let me know what you think of them!

I’m having a blast at this, and I love everything from plotting how to make healthy food that just doesn’t taste like it could be good for you…to taking the photographs.  I do have to thank my mom for picking on my first few photos.  She informed me that my power cupcakes looked smooshed.  She was right.  I then reminded myself of my background in film, and began to look at the shoots as an event in themselves, rather than brief moments where I snap the food before enjoying it.  My earliest photos are pretty embarrassing, but it’s important to leave them up.  If you think you’re not the best photographer, do check out my earliest posts.  With some natural light, and a few simple props, you can make a lot of progress.

Last week I had 2 finals, and I have now completed my first two courses at the Institute for Holistic Nutrition.  It was an intense month, with Biological Chemistry, which, luckily, was easier than it sounded, (although I’m saying that before having received my final grade), and Nutrition and the Environment, which was a little more overwhelming than I expected.

I’d like to share my top 5 thoughts on my first two courses, as they relate general food and health from my perspective.

1.  If I had to pick only one thing to share from my first courses, it would be: Only buy products where you understand everything on the ingredients label.  This is something to think of when it’s comes to food, but also cosmetics, cleaning products, air freshener…the works.  I used to think that these products weren’t so complicated, but we do live in a pretty high-tech time where many things are processed, and far too many things have chemicals that are not good for you, certainly not if you’re using them every day. If you stick to this rule, you’ll be on the right track.  Check out a health food store for alternative products.

2. Buy local and organic.
Organic means you get to avoid chemicals, and you don’t have to think about the dirty dozen.  Local means what you’re eating is in season, will taste fresher, and be better for you.  Now the trick is, it’s best to get this organic food at a farmer’s market, or through a delivery service (this is cheaper than the grocery store).  Enjoy the challenge of creating tasty meals with what’s been harvested, or customize your basket.

A couple Toronto based organic delivery companies are: Front Door Organics, and Mama Earth.  It can’t get any easier than your food delivered right to your doorstep.

3. Pay attention to portion sizes, particularly when it comes to meat.
Organic meat is definitely more expensive.  I got sticker shock when I first attempted to make the switch.  The benefits are pretty great, though.  This goes beyond wanting to eat something that lived a happy life.  I’m talking about eating something that isn’t full of medication and hormones that will lead to health problems, such as hitting puberty far too early, or developing an intolerance to antibiotics.  Antibiotics are pretty important when you need them.  Wouldn’t you like them to remain effective?

In terms of getting enough protein and sustenance, your meat should be the size of a deck of cards.  That’s pretty small.  I bet that if your average meat eater switched to organic and changed their portion sizes simultaneously, they would not be spending any more money on meat. 

4. Don’t eat margarine.
Margarine has a sad story.  It was invented so that companies could boast “no saturated fat!” on their packages, and replace butter.  Consumers who were avoiding saturated fat (rightfully so) were happy to buy this product.  The only problem is, in order to create the buttery texture, margarine is a man-made fat, that we can’t properly process.  Worst of all, it has actually be shown to raise cholesterol. 

5. Reexamine your medicine cabinet.
We’ve become accustomed to expecting a lot from our products, and manufacturers are wanting super long shelf lives, and pretty smells, among other things. If I had to say one thing, I’d recommend you look out for eco cleaning cloths, and ditch any super-abbrassive products (like Comet), that you may have around.  If something is so strong it makes you cough, you probably don’t need to have that around.  The eco cleaning clothes are re-usable, and actually require no product.  Many have anti-bacterial silver woven in. That’ll save some dollar is the long run.  I picked mine up at Winners.  You can also make your own cleaning products out of a few basics, like baking soda and vinegar.  Check out the book There’s Lead In Your Lipstick for a very well researched look into the dangers of every day products. 

I hope some of this information is helpful and/or new to you.  Remember, the best way to implement any change is gradually.

I am very excited to be on this journey learning about nutrition.  As far as preventative healthcare goes, it’s pretty powerful.  Thanks for reading!

Have you made any drastic changes in regards to healthy food or products? Have any tips to share?

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5 thoughts on “Top 5 things I learned after 1 month of Nutrition school, and a few reasons to say “Thanks!”

  1. Regarding the margarine: some time ago I recieved an e-mail chain explaining how margarine and plastic are like one or two particles away.
    Can’t find the e-mail though, but it’s a pretty scary fact to add there.

  2. Pingback: Colourful Food, and Budget Happy Proportions | Cravings Gone Clean

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