With the constant chatter around what foods we should and shouldn’t eat, we often find ourselves struggling to remember what we’re eating for.  Let’s take a step back and remember what nutrition truly means.


Nutrition doesn’t have to be a complex thing.

If we come back to the simple dictionary definition and focus first on nourishing our bodies, letting go of food rules, and eating for enjoyment, it won’t be so scary.

The Merriam-Webster definition of nutrition is:

The act or process of nourishing or being nourished.

You likely feel that the word ‘nourish’ has been a buzzword in 2017 so far, but it clearly plays a foundational part in nutrition.​ Despite the ever-changing knowledge in science and research, good nutrition remains to be so much more than simply counting calories or “good vs. bad” food.

The media has built up nutrition into something that needs to be all consuming, burdened with rules, and removes the fun and enjoyment out of eating. Family eating expert Ellyn Satter once said –

“When the joy goes out of eating, nutrition suffers.”

Why must we have to box ourselves into these food rules dictated externally by others? We don’t.

How do they truly know what is going to work for our lifestyle, our body, and most importantly, how do they know our wants & needs? They don’t.

What will work is taking a step back, and begin a little bit of soul searching work to find what works for you as an individual. It’s about sitting down and checking in with yourself to see what you truly want and need – both food-wise & emotionally. This all ultimately circles back to nourishing your body.

Nourishment comes in two parts – nourishing the body with food & nourishing the soul.

As intangible and woo-woo as that sounds, when you start to make these changes on how you view life and relationships, what you want to do and where you want to go, and what kind of an impact you want to make…it all starts to make sense.

You’ll begin to see that connection between the mind & the body, and how they are so interconnected. You’ll see how past diets have worked against what your body actually wanted to do. You’ll see that you were following strict, made-up food rules that promised magical, unattainable goals.

When you step back from that diet mentality and focus on nourishing the body instead, you’ll realize there’s more to life than being obsessed with what you’re putting into your body, following rules, and being on a continuous cycle that leads to feelings of unworthiness.

You are more than that, and you are so worthy.

Nutrition doesn’t have to be complex if we just come back to the simple dictionary definition. Simply focus on nourishing your body, letting go of food rules, and eating for enjoyment. And only then can we find that harmony and balance of self-care and living a life with freedom that no diet plan can ever give us. ​​

Adapted from the original article.

Emily Holdorf, MS, RDN is a Scranton, PA-based private practice dietitian on a mission to empower others to live a healthier, happier life.  By emphasizing a non-diet approach to eating, Emily helps individuals form a better relationship with food by focusing on why there’s room for every food in moderation. Find out more about about Emily at EmPowered Nutrition.