You are what you eat: nutritional therapy and counselling
Do I need the help of a nutrition consultant/therapist?
Every day we make about 200 different decisionsi related to food, being aware of only a part of these thoughts. Since food is the source of energy necessary for our existence, we come into contact with it every day, whether we like it or not, and our food choices affect our well-being more than we can imagine.
The saying ’you are what you eat’ is much deeper than it seems at first glance.
The Internet is a bottomless source of information, but before taking something for a fact and following it, it is worth making sure of the scientific approach and the reliability of the information (source). There are so many consultants and coaches on lifestyle, nutrition and exercise that it can make your head spin. There is even more discussion in the media and everyday conversations about what to eat and what not to eat, what is healthy and what has the opposite effect. Therefore, 200 food-related decisions per day is not such a utopian figure as it might seem at first. Often people unreasonably restrict themselves in nutrition and believe that such a special diet will surely give the desired effect. The principles of a balanced diet are simple, clear and do not limit the choice of food. But something that simple cannot be effective, right?
Needs-based and balanced nutrition guarantees us optimal weight, good health, stronger immunity, functioning of the nervous system, normal digestion, energy, etc. If you omit emotions, then different cravings might be a cry for help from the body in case of lack of certain nutrients, which most often occurs due to unilateral and selective diet. Approaching only through macros and calories is not smart enough. There is nothing shameful or scary about seeking help from trained consultants, and it doesn’t always have to be about a big problem. You can also get advice on simpler issues, at least on the issue of a variety of food choices. There are two professional organizations that unite nutrition specialists in Estonia: the Estonian Association of Nutrition Consultants and the Estonian Association of Nutrition Therapy. Together with a government-trained consultant, you can find solutions to your problems and find a more functional, sustainable, health-supporting, and lifestyle-friendly eating plan.
How do you know when to see a consultant and when to see a therapist?
The nutrition consultant is responsible for providing evidence-based nutrition and exercise recommendations. In other words, if you are completely healthy and want to make your menu healthier for the sake of better well-being and quality of life, or lose weight/gain weight, then contacting a consultant is the right choice. See a nutritional therapist if, in addition to the above, you also have a medical condition. For example, if you have digestive problems (GERD, reflux, celiac disease), diabetes, anaemia, cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, cancer, allergies, osteoporosis, eating disorders, or have undergone gastric bypass surgery, etc. Reason for contacting there may be weight loss, but if the person has a comorbid condition the competence of the consultant may not be sufficient and a therapist should be consulted. The consultant can take advanced training and specialize in some more specific areas, such as genetic diseases, more complex digestive problems, autism, etc. The nutrition therapist does not prescribe treatment, but helps with advice on how to supplement the treatment prescribed by the doctor with nutrition, how to prevent the disease from flaring up and improve general well-being in case of chronic diseases.
A quality indicator for both specialists is membership in a professional association or the proof of obtaining a state-recognized profession. Specialists base their work on science and follow the code of ethics and other local laws and legislations. Make the right choice and trust trained and competent specialists; come to a consultation – you might get answers to your questions, ideas for balancing and diversifying your diet, and your body will thank you for it!
Kendra Kairi Vaino, nutritional therapist (EKR6)
Kendra is trained in many sports – from karate to dancing. Due to the injury she had to take a break for years, but she found her way back into sports through Les Mills’s group trainings. Since 2009 she is a member of MyFitness team and leads different group trainings – BodyPump, BodyBalance, Power-Body, and circuit training on EasyLine machines. Kendra also works as an evaluator of LesMills Nordic Team and conducts Nike Training Club trainings.
Every journey begins with a first step!