Senior Scene : Nutrition Counseling

Serene Karplus, Nederland.  What we eat and how we eat is extremely personal. Ask anyone who has worked in a restaurant, meal program, or health recovery facility. We each have different body chemistry, taste buds, and energy needs.

 

We can be quite defensive about out eating habits. A friend expressing concern about a coffee-and-donuts breakfast can make us angrier at the friend than at ourselves for our self-destructive intake. As we educate ourselves more, we recognize that food habits are complex, driven by not only psychological issues, but also by physical imbalances. We may feed a self-perpetuating malady, such as sweet cravings sent to the brain by an overgrowth of the fungal critters Candida albicans in our digestive tracts, who want the sugar and have figured out how to get their hosts to give it to them.

 

Recognizing that all food we consume is fuel for all the functions of the body and that all those parts rely on the ability of our brain to educate wise choices, we understand the need for good nutrition.

 

 

From brain synapses to growing fingernails, from organ chemistry to sorting real food from harmful garbage, our bodies rely on getting the natural chemicals they need to manufacture the chemicals that operate them. Some of the harmful “foods” we ingest can encourage bad organisms to grow and strain the body’s organs that sort and eliminate toxins.

 

Good nutrition has been shown to be an effective way to address specific illnesses. Some individuals credit a plant-based organic diet as the way they cured their cancer. Healthy eating with specific chemical considerations has been proven effective at aiding the body to support our defenses against stressors or to rid ourselves of diseases. Nutrition can address issues such as diabetes, osteoporosis, nausea or digestive complications like celiac or irritable bowel syndrome, HIV, cancer, hypertension, allergies, organ disorders, obesity, hypoglycemia, menopausal symptoms, maintaining healthy pregnancy, heart diseases, cholesterol, and elevated blood sugar and pressure.

 

Nutritionists and Registered Dietitians (RDs) study what chemicals the body and brain require to function well and help people find ways to consume more foods that heal and fuel us and less of the non-foods that are toxic and harm us. They listen to what our health concerns are and help us assess our current choices without criticism, just gentle education about different ways we can think about our food and new directions we can consider. As fellow working folks, Nutritionists and RD’s understand the pressures of time constraints and lifestyle affecting our decisions and work with us to optimize what we can do to maximize the impact of the foods we may have little time to shop and prepare. The concept is to help us take control of our health instead of our issues controlling us.

 

Nutritional counseling aims to get to the root cause of health concerns, rather than just tackling the symptoms. Many of us can benefit from working with a nutritionist for a variety of reasons–managing medical conditions, reducing the impact of advancing years, increasing healthy sustainable energy and ability to exercise, wanting to fine-tune food choices or completely overhaul our diet. Known benefits of good nutrition include an increase in energy (less fatigue), better quality sleep, reduced symptoms of stress and disease, less drastic ranges of emotions/moods, an increased sense of happiness, a possible increase in longevity, a strengthened immune system (fewer colds/flu), lessened weight concerns, better skin, fewer digestive problems, lessened effects of arthritis, fewer migraines/headaches, decreased risk of disorders and diseases, and a better ability to concentrate.

*****

 

All adults are welcome at all Mountain MidLife and Nederland Area Seniors events, attended mostly by folks over age 50. Everyone is invited to all meals at the Nederland Community Center. Please call two days ahead for lunch reservations (a week ahead for dinners and breakfasts if possible) to 303-258-0799. Missed the deadline? Call anyway. Costs listed show first the over-age-60 requested anonymous contribution, then the under-age-60. Please note that all over age 60 are welcome regardless of ability to contribute financially.

Serene Karplus

About the Author: Serene Karplus – is the Executive Director of the Nederland Area Seniors, Inc. (NAS) which assists senior citizens in enhancing their quality of life, enabling them to live a life of respect and honor.  This is accomplished through the facilitation of nutrition, transportation, education, recreation, socialization and outreach programs for all seniors living in the Greater Nederland Area. Serene is a contributor to The Mountain-Ear with her Senior Scene column.