I am about to give away my age when I tell you that I used the World Book Encyclopedia to research my book reports when I was in grade school. That vintage set still resides in tattered boxes in my attic. I can envision the eclectic piece of history decorating someone’s towering bookcase in their Brady Bunch-looking den. Sadly, the fate of the annals will probably render an unfortunate demise.
Where am I going with this piece of nostalgia? It reminded me that growing up, I needed to sort things through in much slower motion than today. I love the Internet but it’s spoiling us all. I was being interviewed by an MBA student at Harvard recently who had worked at Google. I brought up my pet peeve that people (and yes, that includes newbie dietitians) are looking for quick answers to questions they should be able to figure out on their own. He agreed that the newest generation is looking for “quick gratification.” We shared a chuckle that we can blame his former boss for this regrettable mind set. I get it—it’s easier to ask than to seek out an answer on your own, but it’s getting a little out of control.
The conversation got me thinking to how people approach the way they eat. It’s less work to stuff your freezer with prepared dinners or to order take out than to cook them yourself. With the advent of the semaglutide medications like Ozempic and Wegovy, it’s easier to take a shot and obliterate your appetite as a means of (quick) weight loss, than to employ the “slow and steady” approach. I can’t imagine navigating the holidays feeling restricted or deprived, let alone feeling nauseous all the time. Nor not having any desire to partake in social gatherings or family dinners because you feel so lousy. (As I mentioned in a previous blog, these drugs make you feel so sick you don’t want to look at or think about food).
This is the time of year I worry about people’s ability to stay on track with their health goals. Summer is pretty good—more daylight hours to enjoy the outdoors and more time to munch on locally grown fruits and veggies. Darkness creeps in at 4PM in New England with daylight saving time, and on top of limited access to the outdoors for exercise (and it’s cold outside!), some people begin to experience seasonal affective disorder. This further sends motivation levels down the preverbal rabbit hole for many.
Moving forward in 2024, I am here to remind you to focus on what to add into your diet versus what to take away in your diet. And yes, the add-ins are more plant-based foods like fruits and veggies, legumes, and a heart healthy dose of nuts and seeds. It’s not just about the weight loss—it’s about creating healthier habits that are manageable and sustainable. It’s all about balance; especially as you navigate the month of December!
And more importantly, don’t lose sight of the importance of sharing and giving back at this joyous time of the year. Happy Holidays!
In Good Health,