‘Keep it simple, stupid.’
I remember learning about this concept when I was in school, from my Grade 5 teacher, Mrs. Young. We all had questions about an essay we were writing and she wrote on the board to ‘K.I.S.S.’
It rocked my world because it was such a basic idea, but none of us had considered doing it; we were so wrapped up in making things harder for ourselves.
Fast forward to being a grown-up and I still find myself needing to refer back to this phrase. I will often over-complicate things for myself and it can be hard to bring myself back to reality. Particularly when building a business, complete with a website and social media accounts, it can be easy to get swept up in all the fancy things we can do and create, and the same thing is true of health and nutrition. Social media is probably to blame for some of this over-complication, because these days we can’t just post a photo of our food; it needs to be the most elaborate, beautifully styled version of what we’re eating. Nobody seems to get too excited for a simple kale salad with tomatoes and red onion; it needs to be loaded up with all the colours of the rainbow for it to be considered a healthy dish that people want to eat.
So does simple equal not healthy? Absolutely not.
I wholeheartedly feel we have forgotten how to just keep it simple, and that’s where the inspiration for my tagline was born.
As you may or may not have noticed, the new tagline for Deliciously Nourished is ‘Nutrition Simplified.’ When I went through my little re-brand a couple of months ago, I knew I wanted to have a tagline that would resonate with my followers and people visiting my website. I wanted it to be something that was a positive first impression on my website, and something that highlighted what my practice and my mission are all about.
So I began thinking about the words and phrases that best represented my vision. I whipped out my trusty notebook and began to write out options for what my new and improved tagline could be. Nothing stood out, so I gave it a rest and trusted that it would come to me.
A few days later I was inspired as I was looking through Instagram.
Every day I see countless images of elaborate dishes that contain 25 different and exotic ingredients, powders and “superfoods.” Does anyone else remember when a smoothie meant blending up a banana, berries, yogurt, and a splash of milk!? Granted, my views on dairy have changed since becoming a nutritionist, but I used to love making those fruity smoothies and they were so fast and easy!
Now you’re expected to create smoothies that have every single food group (steamed cauliflower is even a thing we add now), combined with all the bells and whistles of add-ins like adaptogens, herbs and spices, protein powders, nut butters and spirulina, and that’s just to name a few.
Don’t forget to top your smoothie (heaven forbid we have a naked smoothie nothing on top) with some perfectly drizzled almond butter and a sprinkle of homemade granola, for example. Seriously, go on Instagram and search #smoothie and look at the top hits; this is the smoothie world we live in now!
My point is: things have gotten a little out of control.
It occurred to me that I was actually starting to feel intimidated by some of the creations I was seeing, and if I was feeling overwhelmed by things, I can only imagine what someone who is just new to eating healthy would feel. I began to see the problem with where my industry has gone.
So my desire to embrace simplicity was born out of -- to be blunt -- my resentment for the things I was seeing on Instagram. While I love looking at these creative and beautiful food photos, as a practitioner, I see a real problem with it.
Working with clients, I see the need for keeping things simple. What may seem like common sense in the world of healthy eating is often not common sense for a lot of clients. Most have dealt with health concerns for years and they don’t really know where to begin in terms of tackling their issues. They know they need to change their habits and eat healthier but they don’t know what to eat or how to get started. My job is to break down the complicated concept of health and nutrition and make it more understandable and attainable. It’s a lot harder to get someone to eat healthy when they think they need to completely revamp their pantry and fridge with all sorts of new foods that they’ve never even heard of before!
And the recipes are only the tip of iceberg.
Every so often we see a new diet that becomes a shining star of the healthy lifestyle scene. Food trends develop, books become best sellers and new studies get released that show why this new fad is the cure to all of our health problems.
But the issue with these trends or diets is that don’t work for everyone, and they also encourage a typically-unrealistic lifestyle that many individuals will struggle and fail to keep up with.
There are a lot of ways that we can be healthy. There is no one diet, food or lifestyle that defines health.
For starters, I dislike the idea of demonizing any food or food group, and many of these popular trends will target a specific food that needs to be avoided at all costs. The most important point that I need to make about this is that what works for one person will not work for another. Just because eating paleo/keto/gluten-free/Whole30 works for your friend, doesn’t mean that it will work for you, and that is okay! We do not need to slap a label on our diets in order to define what we’re doing, and you don’t need to be a part of a pre-existing diet trend in order to be living healthy!
‘Nutrition Simplified’ is more than just my business tagline. I truly believe in this phrase and what it represents for my clients and how I help people.
I want to remind you that healthy eating can be simple and we don’t have to feel bad for not living up to what we see on social media. Live simply and don’t stress yourself out over someone else’s opinions on health. You’re not doing anything wrong by enjoying simple, whole, fresh foods without all the bells and whistles. The healthiest diet is the one that you are able to stick to and enjoy.