What we eat has a huge impact on our health both physically and mentally. When I started my fitness journey I had no idea how to eat or what to eat. I just knew I needed to eat “healthy” what ever that meant. As my fitness journey progressed I did research on the Internet but was always getting conflicting information. I set out to get some real nutrition advice and decided to interview a local nutritionist named Donna Wolf. I worked for Donna for a short period of time when I was fresh out of college and knew she would be a really great source of information for me.
Donna started out our interview by telling me that her decision to study nutrition in college and become a nutritionist started with inspiration from a much younger age. “It all began with a life long interest in food, growing up I had a garden and lived an active life” she explained. Once Donna shared this, I knew I was speaking to someone with good information. Not someone who just woke up one day and decided to become a nutritionist. We went on to discus dieting, heart health, stress and sleep.
With the diet industry being a multi billion dollar industry and so much money to be made, there’s no wonder why there’s endless messages being sent to consumers about everything from diet pills to crazy diets. So I asked Donna what’s the real reason so many of these diets fail. Her answer was surprisingly simple; fad diets try and do something on a temporary basis. She explained to me dieting needs to be a holistic change; Change in mindset, change in behaviors and an overall change in habits for better health.
With so many messages being sent to us through the diet industry, I asked who could give me a diet that will work for me. She told me that a doctor could actually prescribe diets to patients but most don’t because they have minimal training in nutrition. This is where nutritionists like Donna come in, a doctor may be able to prescribe you a diet but nutritionists are the ones that work with patients to help implement the diet and change health behaviors. That being said, I questioned what does a heart healthy diet look like. Donna told me that a heart healthy diet is a diet that a helps you achieve your ideal weight, helps you select more plant-based foods, reduces sugar, reduces processed foods and is high in fiber and healthy fat. This sounds like a long list but she told me that we can all benefit from heart healthy diets and restricting too much can lead to imbalances in the body.
When it comes to heart health and diet Donna explained to me that she thinks they need to be talked about together more often and that the American lifestyle is full of too much stress, lack of sleep and exposure to so many toxins. She went on to tell me that toxins are all over and we are exposed to them constantly in foods, beverages, the air we breathe, and all the products we use. Our bodies need to detox from this exposure to toxins and a healthy diet with plenty of vitamins, minerals, fiber, good bacteria and phytonutrients is key in fostering this process. She also stressed the importance of not being able to out exercise a poor diet. Meaning that, those poor dietary choices you make are still going to have a negative affect on your body and your health even if you are exercising regularly. She also told me that everyone is unique and you should go see a nutritionist for you specific needs.
This interview with Donna helped me gain a deeper understanding about a heart healthy diet, the importance of knowing what is being put in our food and what type of food to eat. For more information about Donna and her services please visit her website at: http://healthydirectionsforyou.com/