Friday, February 18, 2011

I Heart Kale

This morning I whipped up some raw kale-celery juice, and while I was praising myself for drinking it, it occurred to me that maybe I should become a registered dietician and give nutritional advice for a living.  With my quasi-photographic memory, I could be a walking, talking nutritional database.  Since becoming vegan, I’ve had to be careful to avoid deficiencies, so I already know a lot about healthy foods.  You want to know about complete proteins?  Essential fatty acids? Which foods contain the most zinc?  Piece of cake!  And I mean that literally – dark chocolate is packed full of zinc.

I remember seeing dietician on the list of Best Careers for 2011.  I can’t recall why I nixed the idea. Probably because it’s a people-person job, thus rendering me unqualified.  Still, whenever I see those obese people on TV who are clueless about nutrition, I feel a strange urge to help them.  It makes me really sad when the heavy kids are unable to correctly identify a tomato or a carrot or a potato.  I saw one forty-year-old woman who had never eaten fruit before – she was terrified to eat a raspberry.

I think I’d make a good role model because my “dieting” isn’t the result of a poor body image.  I don’t eat vegetables because I’m desperate to be a size zero.  I have much loftier motivations: an intense and debilitating fear of death.  My hope is that by drinking raw kale juice, I’ll live forever.

Given that I’m not a size zero, I figure I’d be more relatable.  No one wants to take dietary advice from someone who appears to be slowly starving to death.  How can someone who clearly hasn’t eaten a sandwich in the last five years possibly understand your cravings and temptations?  Me, on the other hand, I’d be more like Oprah, who recently confessed to eating 30 pounds of macaroni and cheese in a fit of depression – and people love her for it!

Because I’ve struggled myself, I can offer specialized advice on how to overcome dieting pitfalls.  For example, if you’re going out to the bars, it’s imperative to appoint a designated diet enforcer (i.e. someone who will smack the greasy food out of your mouth at two in the morning).   Better yet, find a late-night drunk food that you enjoy and that’s not as damaging to your health.  I knew this girl in college who would always eat canned chickpeas while the rest of us were eating gyros and pizza in the middle of the night.   It was a well-formed habit for her.   She had completely convinced herself that chickpeas were what she wanted to be eating.  She carried around a can in her purse at all times.   It was truly inspiring.

I’ve been giving unsolicited nutritional advice to my dad for years.  I'll pull out an armful of Jimmy Dean biscuit sandwiches from his freezer and with a raised eyebrow I'll say, "Dad, did you know that there are 10 grams of saturated fat in each one of these?"  He doesn't always appreciate my helpful advice, but I did get him to like brussels sprouts, and I didn't even have to douse them in Cheez Whiz.  It'll take another ten years of nagging before I'll be able to get him to drink raw kale juice, but lucky for him, I can be very persistent.  My clients are gonna love me.

1 comment:

  1. My mom is a registered dietitian. She can tell you ALL about it! :)