We have all heard the old adage, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Life is challenging and with that, we can experience misfortune and adversity. However, trying to take a sour experience and turn it into something sweet can have a profound effect on many areas of our lives, including our health.
Starting a nutrition-counseling program can be a scary and difficult step for many. The first word that appears in peoples’ minds when they think of a “registered dietitian” is “diet.” They are worried they will be told to restrict, eliminate, and give up the foods they enjoy; while also being told to eat more foods they dislike. Worst of all, they are fearful that they will not be able to experience life to the fullest because they have to alter their eating habits.
What if I told you could have a glass of lemonade every day? What if I told you the sour taste of lemons does not match their sweet nutritional value? While metaphorical lemons are obstacles that bring us down both mentally and physically, real life lemons are nutritious and offer several health benefits. Lemons are low in calorie but high in Vitamin C and fiber. They can be used in multiple ways including: flavoring beverages, flavoring meat such as chicken and fish, flavoring baked goods or bars, and used as salad dressing. Lemons help lower cholesterol, reduce risk of heart disease, help absorb iron, help keep skin looking vibrant, help slow the digestion of sugars and starches, and help improve digestive health. Even though lemonade does contain high amounts of sugar, an 8-ounce glass can easily fit into an overall healthy diet. Try preparing the lemon juice with a more natural sweetener such as honey instead of table sugar. If you need a sugar substitute, use stevia and prepare the recipe using less than half the amount.
Part of my mission as a Registered Dietitian & Certified Personal Trainer is to help people enhance their current diet rather than hit a total reset button. Through a non-judgmental yet effective approach, you can create a more balanced life full of moderations rather than eliminations. By helping you shift your belief system and attitudes towards eating in a more affirmative light, you can create a more symbiotic relationship with healthy food.
Now I challenge you to shake that lemon tree, grab those lemons from the ground with confidence, and make some sweet lemonade. Don’t let life’s obstacles or nutrition challenges get in the way towards a healthier you. Cheers to a new, positive mindset and a higher quality of life!