By Gina Cousineau

Most days, I am approached by strangers and clients alike, regarding my opinion on the latest diet, wellness, or health-related book, pill, potion, fad, or trend.

Just this week alone, I had conversations about soy products, Lion’s mane mushrooms, dairy, lectins, and nightshades, all requiring me to spend time and effort confirming the current research, paired with my extensive knowledge base, then accompanied by a detailed dialogu.

Each time I am thrust into these conversations, I cannot help but wonder where this individual heard about a product or approach, and what was conveyed to make them consider buying into it.

When I speak to potential clients, sharing my approach to help them achieve their weight loss and health goals—which always goes back to the basics with real wholesome food, a little planning, prepping, and even some cooking—they will not follow up with me, most of the time. And we must go back to the “why?”

Today, the Internet, in all its glory, is ultimately both useful and harmful. A quick Google search leads to hundreds, if not thousands of hits, which depending on how the search is worded, will bring you to the very information that you are wanting to hear.

We must be very careful to use solid science and evidence, not just opinions based on the influencer wanting to sell you their latest book or supplements, touting a few small studies done on mice, which do not translate to human beings.

But we all know desperation leads to desperate measures. And if one can take a pill to “fix” the years of abuse that fast food and being a couch potato have caused, then no matter the cost, no matter how outrageous the claim, the multibillion-dollar health industry proves how gullible we are.

While I know you don’t have time, and don’t know how nor want to cook, I am pleading with you to consider taking the time and effort to educate yourself and begin to consider eating foods like your grandma, or perhaps your great grandma, consumed.

While you don’t have to grow it, you can easily go to your local grocery store and simply start by filling your cart with fruits and vegetables that look enticing.

One thing we have seen with the onslaught of organic produce, is that those on fixed incomes will often forgo buying conventional (non-organic) produce. This is because they cannot afford the organic version, since they have been bullied into believing that “organic” is the only safe option. Let me stress that our food supply is safe.

You would have to eat boatloads of conventional strawberries every day to get the level of pesticide that “food bullying” environmental groups would have you believe are harmful.

The benefits of eating these conventional foods far outweigh the risk of pesticide residue, much of which can be rinsed off, along with providing you with produce that has not been previously eaten by bugs.

My suggestion this month is for you to buy food as close to nature as possible. Meaning a banana over banana bread. And instead of being afraid to buy conventional fruits and veggies, lets instead forgo the organic cheese curls with little nutritional value, or the organic cereal, which contains sugar as a second ingredient.

Stop being bullied, advocate for yourself, use your natural instincts, and in turn, your gut will reward you with better health.

Gina Cousineau works with clients virtually out of her San Clemente office. Her extensive education with a BS in dietetics and MS in integrative and functional nutrition, chef training, and more than 30 years as a fitness professional, allow her to help clients with finding a practical nutrition approach to reach their goals. You can reach her at mamag@mamagslifestyle.com, 949.842.9975, and on Instagram and Facebook @mamagslifestyle.

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