Neither boring lists of foods you should and should not consume, nor rules impossible to follow when it comes to eating a healthy and balanced diet. None of that is what you’ll find in Enraged Dietitian: keys on food so you don’t be fooled, the first book of Virginia Gómez (a.k.a. Enraged network dietitian) that comes to make clear the basic concepts of nutrition with a lot of humor and his personal touch of « anger. »
On the occasion of the presentation of his book, we were able to talk to Virginia about different keys to healthy nutrition, on dissemination, his experience in consultation and, finally, some basic tips to lead a healthier life.
« Willpower is a lie like a cathedral »
One of the chapters that we liked most about Virginia’s new book (and she has confessed to us that it is her favorite) is the one that talks about willpower when we try to follow a diet or a healthy eating plan. Within this chapter Virginia explains how to follow some feeding guidelines is not just a matter of getting up one day from bed and thinking « come, get to work, from today I will eat better »; but there are other very important personal factors that come into play as our socioeconomic level or our cultural level.
« In this sense, being aware of our own limitations is essential to know what we can do and how far we can go. Many times we get the excuse that ‘we don’t have time’ to cook or exercise, but there are people who you don’t really have that time to do it. We each have our own motivations when taking care of ourselves: from improving our health to seeing ourselves better physically, and they are all respectable. «
In this chapter of the book, Virginia contrasts the life of an influencer, who in this case has all the time in the world to devote to taking care of her body and her health, with that of a housekeeper, with demanding physical work , who works within an hour of your home and that, when you arrive at your home, the last thing you want is to cook super healthy food.
It doesn’t always depend on our willpower or how much we want it: our context also counts.
Social networks and nutrition: healthy eating is in fashion
In line with the chapter in which Virginia tells us about the life of the influencer, we cannot miss the opportunity to ask her what is the situation with food and social networks.
« The good thing is that right now Nutrition professionals have a great capacity to influence through social networks: in this way, we can bring good eating habits to the general population. Also, something happens that did not happen when I was younger: Eating healthy is fashionable! There are many young people who are interested in healthy food through social networks and who care about taking care of their diet. At 18, these things didn’t even go through my mind! On that side, social networks are very positive. «
We also ask him about the role of the dietitian-nutritionist in disseminating and working with patients: « The dietitian-nutritionist is the reference health professional in terms of food and diets. It is clear that disseminating basic nutrition concepts can be done by everyone, and it is very positive, but on the one hand there is theory and on the other hand practice: a nutritionist knows how to adapt that theory to the needs of each patient. «
A good example is given when we talk about different diets or modes of diet that become periodically fashionable: « I can know that a paleo diet, correctly prescribed, is perfectly valid; but I have to adapt it to the needs of each patient. It is possible that the patient in front of me is a diet that will not do well because of his personal circumstances. «
Calories, cheat meals and other things we usually do poorly in nutrition
We take advantage of our conversation with Virginia to learn a little more about the general population’s knowledge about nutrition: what is it that people are less clear about when we talk about food? « I think one of the things that is most difficult to clarify to patients is that one food can be healthy and caloric at the same time, as with nuts, it is something that is difficult to assimilate. Also, because they are healthy, it does not mean that you can get on top of them, because the calories are what they are. The same is true in reverse: it is difficult to assimilate that a product that has few calories can be insane, as is the case with light soft drinks. «
The cheat meal or trap food is another of the concepts that comes to light in our conversation: « On the one hand there are people who believe that they do not need a trap meal a week, and you have to convince them that they will need it, especially because we have a complex social life and there are going to be times when you are forced to get out of the prescribed diet. If you have your cheat mealWell, you make your trap food there and it’s over: no regrets or blame.
On the opposite end are those who begin to make a cheat meal and just doing a cheat week or a cheat month, wildly! It’s hard to stop once you start if you don’t have it scheduled and controlled« .
Three tips to lead a healthy life
Finally, we ask Virginia to give us her three bedside tips to lead a healthy life:
- Do not eat badly: « Be careful, because it is different from ‘eating well’. With ‘not eating badly’ I mean eliminating those products that should not be part of our usual diet, such as ultra-processed ones. That is a good starting point. Once we have this controlled, we can focus on ‘eating well’. «
- Let the basis of your diet be fruits, vegetables and legumes: « And this applies to any type of food we eat, whether vegetarian or omnivorous. To maintain a healthy diet, your base should be that: then we will see how much fish or how much meat you are getting into your diet, if you do it » .
- Practice strength exercises: « I know it’s a non-food tip, but I think it’s very important that we pay close attention. Having a good muscle mass is one of the best health predictors we can find. Beyond the typical cardio exercises, also when losing weight, strength exercises are paramount. «
The book Enraged Dietitian: keys on food so you don’t be fooled It is available in physical format with soft cover at a price of 16.10 euros, and in Kindle format at a price of 8.54 euros, both on Amazon.
Enraged dietitian: Keys on food so you don’t be fooled (Health and Wellness)
Enraged Dietitian: Keys on food so you don’t be fooled
In Vitónica | Conscientious vegetarians, by Lucía Martínez. A practical manual for a healthy and vegetarian diet
Images | Juan Miguel Ponce, iStock