My Trade Secret: Why Labeling Your Diet is a Path to Failure

*Gasp!* You shouldn’t eat that! You know better – you’re a nutritionist.              

I’m sorry you have to see the way my kid eats –I don’t want you to think less of us.      


Here's the thing. I don't judge your food choices.


You're opinions are nice and all but....

I’m a real person. I love food and I love eating it.  (It's why I wanted to study Nutrition!)

I'm not judging you on what you eat. Seriously.

One thing I can say to my clients is that I challenge your assumption that I will make you feel bad for eating certain things. If you want guilt, you won't get it from me. I don't play that game.


We all make choices based on our experiences, body, past history, family knowledge/nutrition, generational trends, social affirmations, cravings, moments, impulses, sadness, joy/celebration or mental state. Who am I to judge?

You don't need another person to make you feel confined when it comes to anything in life. As a coach, I don't hold that for my clients.

I hold empowerment, mindfulness, exploration, reaching for a better feeling, more education, tuning in to your body.... those all work much better than guilt-riddled changes that are sub-par and temporary.

We want sustainable changes, lasting changes that make a difference in our body and the world.

Why is this important to me?

I believe strongly that labels, stress and feeling confined by nutrition are all paths to failure and frustration.

Is it easy to be vocal about this opinion? No. Because most of us love labeling our food. I'm vegan, I'm vegetarian, I'm paleo, I do “weight watchers” and on and on. Us humans' love to label and box things for organization. We judge, it's natural. It's our minds way of dealing and coping.

But NO label? It is very difficult to hold that space and for the longest time I struggled to hold it for myself. I had to learn how through trial and error, mental training, learning and well, work. But it’s possible.

It was hardest to learn this during the time of studying nutrition, my god, you eat like a saint. So you have to fit into SOME box, right?? [That Time I Was Vegetarian.] That was 8 years ago. So, it took me a LONG time to learn to NOT box myself into the latest eating fad or health plan.


I have trained my body and mind so that if my AUTHORITATIVE body says "Hey Raina, we should have ice cream, because your friends you haven't seen in 6 years are all excited to have it with you" then you better believe that MY MIND is is going to think "Sure body, and thanks for taking care of me and processing this sugar overload so that I can enjoy this moment with my old friends" and go along my merry way.

Rather than MY MIND telling my body that it is NOT allowed x, y, z and then spin down the guilt spiral for hours afterward.... which is exactly the train I hopped on for years. My body wasn't getting what it needed and my mind was getting a lot of overwhelming thoughts that weren't necessary. Sure, I have my own little nutritional protocol in place to undo some of the things that those "bad" foods do, but I ABSOLUTELY refuse to worry and feel guilty about it. This makes eating all the more enjoyable, and life more pleasurable! I want to teach you this too.

Flexibility. You can lose weight (or balance your symptoms, or _________ <----- enter your goal here) without having to feel horrible and stressed all the time. Flexibility. Freedom. That is more important to me than following the rules. That is more important to me than feeling weird guilt and wasting energy on 'doing the right thing' nutritionally.

Labels are a path to failure because when our body cries for something that is on the outside of our 'range of success' and we have to deny that then we feel bad. Then as a vegan whose body is asking for cheese we feel horrible that we are being a "bad vegan." [Read the balancing act that is this post: “5 Truths About Going Vegan”] Then the Paleo whose body is crying for whole grains feels bad that we aren't staying true to the values of paleo.

What about what our body wants? Our body is the authority. But we have lost that connection. We need the connection to our body to be #1 and everything starts to fall into place after that.

Balance is the key.


The real key required for making sustainable changes is balance. Yes, I'm a nutritionist – but I'm a person first. and like all persons, I strive for balance.

But the point is, no matter whats happening, it should feel good and free.  So, what is freedom to you?

To me, it's when I can fully be myself, well – people really dig that. Does your nutrition make you feel like yourself? Can you feel good about your choices, understand why you need certain foods at certain times, respect your body for it and learn to adapt?

You don't need to label your nutrition or the way you eat. I believe that our nutrition should evolve and change as we do. Our ancestors knew to change diets as we grew up, we had different diets for women and warriors, for seniors or for the ill.

As humans, it is in our nature to modify our diets depending on what is going on in our lives. We've lost that connection to fluidity of changing the way we eat with the age of restricting DIETS. That is the type of labeling that is not appropriate.

Whether you want to eat seasonally for health reasons, eat for your symptoms that you are experiencing now, eat to lose weight, or eat to increase your energy, know that this change is just one diet modification and that there will be many others as you move through life.

Disclaimer: After having said all this above, I am not eschewing labels for health reasons, if you know that gluten does not feel good in your body and you follow a gluten-free diet, fantastic. Thank you. If you know that ethically or physically you cannot eat meat or animal products and you follow a vegan diet, fantastic. Thank you. What I am speaking out against is the over-use of labels, where we try on labels in order to lose weight as a fad diet; or we preach the diet that works for us and guilt others for not doing the same. In nutrition (as in life) juxtapositions abound!

Take your next step.... contact me today! There isn't just one way out of here, keep reading more of my curated blogs (only the most relevant, simplified info for my clients!) for loads more education, mind expansion and fun!