The Most Important Thing I’ve Learned from The Culinary Nutrition Expert Program

I have spent the last four months in Meghan Telphner’s Culinary Nutrition Expert program.
Here is a taste of some the information I have learned:

  • Incredible new recipes
  • Nutritional benefits of micronutrients and macronutrients
  • Why protein and fat are our best friend
  • Why homemade almond milk is way better than store-bought
  • Unpacking the fear of fermentation
  • The ins and outs of clean living
  • How to plan, prep and execute a cooking class
  • Sometimes your kitchen will look like a tornado tore through — but that’s OK!

However, on top all of this knowledge and experience I have accumulated over the last four months, the most important thing I have experienced is an inner-reconciliation of a guilt-filled conflict.

The most important thing I have learned is that it’s okay to choose to eat healthy and have your choices be non-negotiable. You do not have to compromise your health for others.

I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 12. Ever since I’ve made that choice, I’ve been plagued with snarky remarks about how “vegetables are alive too” and accusations that I couldn’t possibly get enough protein. Family meals, new friends, friends of friends, strangers… I face the same jokes and criticizing remarks. Over the years I have silently and kindly laughed off these jokes while subtly trying to change the subject. As I take this routine-criticism, I am exploding inside with a cocktail of feelings, concerns and frustrations. I choose to stay silent to keep the peace. I choose not to comment on others’ eating habits. I would placate these individuals to off-set my intrusion of healthy- eating.
I choose not to say anything because I do not think it is right to comment on other’s eating habits; I think that food is very personal topic. Choosing to eat a healthy, whole- food, plant-based diet seems to grant others access to criticize.

I grew up without choice. Growing up in a low-income home, I experienced eating from a food bank and growing up on a diet of Kraft Dinner, pop and cut-up hot dogs. I suffered from severe constipation, fatigue and anxiety. As an adult, I have been able to build a life where I make food my priority. I am able to choose to fuel my body with vegetables, healthy fats and plant-based protein. I am grateful for my access and privilege to make choices around food.
Meghan Telphner and the Academy of Culinary Nutrition tribe has taught me that eating for my health should be a non-negotiable. This doesn’t just mean that It’s okay if I refuse a Coke, but that I don’t have to take criticism from others about my own health. If the situation is appropriate, It’s okay if I prudently and kindly explain my own food choices (I don’t think my grandma will ever remember that I don’t eat meat — but that’s okay!). I eat for my health so that I can feel happier, and live healthier.

 

I am backed with an education, confidence and fuel for learning that I carry on my shoulders as a commitment not only to myself, but to my friends and family. By taking this program I have committed myself to living a guilt-free, healthy lifestyle with the dedication to sharing and educating others. I am dedicated to live my choices with sheer confidence and whole-hearted gratitude.

 

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