WELCOME! I don't know about you, but when I open a blog post, before buying into anything the author has to say, I want to know who they are and what they believe in. I'm not going to follow the advice of someone who isn't walking the talk! I realize that most of you reading this don't know me at all, so before I start to talk nutrition I want to tell you a little about myself and my philosophies around it.
My name is Taylor Hansen, and I am a registered dietitian from the United States. My mom did a really good job of instilling healthy habits when I was a child, so going into the nutrition field just came naturally to me. The older I got the more interested I became in how the food I ate effected my body (either positively or negatively). Fast forward a decade or so, and here we are! I specialize in simple, whole food nutrition and have spent most of my time in the corporate wellness setting.
On a personal note, I am fiercely passionate about the environment, traveling, and animals and, if I had it my way, I would spend all day with farm animals. I know, I know...crazy right? Spend some time with them and then tell me I'm wrong! I lived in Dubai for 2 years (where I was physically part of the Navy DXB family) but recently moved back to the US. My love for sharing simple nutrition led me here to blog and still be able to be part of the family virtually! If you spend very much time with me at all you will soon learn my simplicity, sense of humor and love for anything related to nature and food.
Enough about me! Feel free to ask if there was something you want to know, and I didn't cover it. As I said above, I am a simple person, and my philosophy around nutrition follows suit. I really revolve everything around four simple thoughts:
1) A WHOLE FOOD IS BETTER THAN THE SUM OF IT'S PARTS- There isn't a supplement on earth that will give you the same nutrients found in a whole apple. There is no protein powder that can compare to the complete meal of quinoa and black beans (nutritionally speaking). There is just no substitute for whole food! Eating food as nature intended it to be is best. Yes, supplements are necessary for some nutrients/people, but that's for another post. Stick to whole foods as much as possible!
2) TOO MUCH OF A "GOOD" THING MAY NOT BE SO GOOD- Kale is now deemed a super food, so we should add a bundle of it to every meal of the day, right? Wrong! Vitamin E is an antioxidant, so we should supplement extra for the added protection, right? Not so fast! The healthiest diet is one that contains a wide variety of healthy foods, not a heavy dose of "super foods". Just because something is "good" for us doesn't mean there aren't consequences to eating too much of that food...more on that in a later post.
3) THERE IS NO NEED TO GO TO EXTREMES- There are many ways to lose weight, gain muscle (or reach any goal that you have, really), and there are many theories on the healthiest diet. Anytime a diet or way of living cuts out an entire food group (carbs, fats, fruits, etc.) though, it's time to raise a red flag. If zero carbs works for you (and I mean REALLY works...not that its just manageable...you're physically AND mentally healthy) then more power to you, but going to extremes is 100% not necessary for about 95% of the worlds population. **Certain medical conditions do require strict dietary patterns**
4) HEALTHY EATING CAN BE AND ACTUALLY IS REALLY SIMPLE- If you boil down every "diet" on the market, almost every one of them come down to: more whole fruits /vegetables and fewer processed foods. Yes, there are some variances, but the majority of the principles are the same...the "diet" just tries to make it look different and flashy so people jump on board. Stick to the basics (whole grains, lean protein, lots of fruits/vegetables/nuts/seeds/legumes, and water) and you are already off to a great start!
Now that you know who I am and what I'm about, my hope is that you join me in your own journey to better health with me as your guide to help you keep it simple! Life is better that way =)
--Taylor Hansen, MS, RD