Priorities (WIAW)

Linking up with the What I Ate party today!

I love nutrition. I am inching close to the finish line of achieving my masters in nutrition and after two years of learning about nutrition-related diseases, metabolism of vitamins and minerals, community nutrition programs, and practicing motivational interviewing- I can still say it firmly: I love nutrition. 

Learning to properly nourish my body has been a journey. From counting calories to eating every “light” product under the sun, I am now at a place where I understand the value of food. The value of whole foods that keep me physically well. The value of indulgent foods that enhance experiences. The value of cooking a meal totally from scratch for my husband. I get it. 

Breakfast: Oatmeal pancake made with 1 egg, 1/3 cup oats, 2 tbsp Greek yogurt, 4-5 tart cherries, and 1/4 tsp baking soda. Topped with sunflower butter. Dark chocolate & coffee consumed also.

Pre-run snack: blood orange (prettier than tasty)

One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in nutrition personally is that the purpose of good nutrition is to enhance my life, not control it. My body relies on nutrient-dense foods to function well. The processes in my body need vitamins and minerals to function. However, every single bite of food I eat doesn’t need to be nutrient dense. Sometimes food, in the form of dark chocolate, is the best way to relax. Sometimes food, in the form of coffee and scones, is the best way to catch up with an old friend. Sometimes food, in the form of big fat juicy burgers, is the best way to celebrate my husband’s 25th birthday.

Lunch: Bad Daddy’s Burgers (thanks Sarah for the suggestion!). Turkey burger with white cheddar, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and spicy garlic ketchup on a lettuce bun. Sweet potatoes fries on the side. 

Side note: This meal was a 10! I can’t wait to go back again. Terry’s tots were dynamite.

For me, nutrition is a priority. Eating copious amounts of veggies is a must.

However, a priority that exceeds nutrition is the priority to live freely. Be adventurous. Try new things (without justification!). Enjoy every single bite.

Dessert: chocolate vanilla swirl ice cream (Terry chose a pineapple smoothie) 

Never ever dwell on the food you’ve eaten. Unless you’re dwelling on how it was gone too soon ;). Eat your ice cream, and move on. The bigger deal you make of it, the more fixated on it you will become.   

Dinner: Picnic style. Salad with boiled eggs, white beans, green peppers, carrots, and balsamic vinaigrette. (double this plate). Fresh pineapple and cantaloupe. Handfuls of popcorn. 

Here are two of my top priorities: 1) living a meaningful life 2) honoring my body by taking care of it. With these at the top, being thin or eating 100% clean can’t also be priorities. 

So yes, nutrition is awesome. I’m so glad I’ve chosen it as my career path. However, it’s not the most important thing in my life… and I’m okay with that. Give me veggies, but also give me fun times with friends. Remember that health is more than just the absence of disease.  

So after a long day, exploring parks and stores with Terry, the night was finished off with a spoonful of peanut butter, eaten while watching we watched a movie.

Questions for you- 

What do you consider a top priority?


61 thoughts on “Priorities (WIAW)

  1. I’m so glad Bad Daddy’s was a 10! I actually haven’t been in a while – I’m due to go back soon. I love your line that nutrition is meant to enhance, not control our lives. I completely agree with your points here – the more we fixate on things, the more they’ll control us. My priorities are taking care of my body in the best way for me at that time (sometimes, more desserts, sometimes more veggies) and developing and nurturing meaningful relationships in life.

  2. Happiness is a top priority for me. If I’m not happy I am unable to be the best person I can be. I also noticed that the happier I am, the happier others are. And knowing that I have made someone just a little bit happier is enough for me.

  3. I think if I could do college over again, I would have gone in to nutrition. It is fascinating to learn how food nourishes and heals our bodies.
    As far as my priorities with food go- I want it to power me through my busy days of teaching and chasing a toddler, but I also want to enjoy it.
    That lunch looks amazing! I haven’t had a good burger in a long time.

    1. You would certainly not be the oldest person in the class if you ever change your mind! I know career changes are not easy though.
      You’ve got a lot of motivation in little Matilda. She’s a doll!

  4. Cherries and dark chocolate for breakfast – could it get any better?
    This is wonderful. Especially the last line about health being more than just absence of disease. I definitely forget about this.
    I’ve never fully thought about it. I’d have to say right now my priority is being authentic and not ashamed of my choices. And kind to those I love. Something I need to give more thought – thank you!

  5. This is great, I totally agree with prioritising enjoyment of life and living freely and authentically over much else. I’ve come to realise that my body truly needs what our society considers ‘a lot of food’ and I’m really starting to be okay with that. For me, nutrition is not just physical but mental also. Everyone is different and everybody deserves to enjoy happiness whatever that means for them.

    1. “A lot” is so arbitrary. I’ve been told I eat all the time. It’s probably true, lol, but it’s what my body likes!
      Everyone is different- so important to recognize

  6. I love your passion for nutrition and your acknowledgement of priorities. Enjoying life and striving to always learn something new are top priorities for me. That’s why I eat foods I enjoy (like PB cups) and read books about nutrition for fun.

  7. I love everything about this.
    Nutrition (& our bodies in general) is fascinating to me (so much so that I wish I could have a do-over of college or more options for distance learning/part time schooling) but, like you, it’s not the be-all, end-all of my life.
    It’s true that I have more energy when I eat nutrient dense foods and loads of veggies (plus they’re delicious), but life without ice cream, ridiculous donuts, and juicy burgers isn’t a life I’d want to live!
    Food is fuel, but it’s also pleasure and community.
    Thanks for sharing!

  8. Maybe it’s cliché or overused but I truly find happiness to be the – or at least my – top priority. Right now is actually a good time to remind myself of this. Do I have the job/apartment/boyfriend/whatever of my dreams? No. But I’m kind of. .. happy. Or maybe it’s more the absence of utter unhappiness but that would be letting my overthinking mind go wild again …
    Anyway, I think you have a wonderful outlook on life and think you’re going to be a great nutritionist. And I really mean it from past experiences with not-so-good ones.

    1. It’s so important to find our happiness in things that don’t change often. Happiness based on circumstances is sure to fail us.
      I am so looking forward to being q nutritionist, so that means a lot to me. I’ve had a few bad ones too, so I am sorry for your negative experiences.

  9. I am so much in agreement with your nutrition philosophy and nutrition is such a huge part of my life I have considered going back to school for nutrition, I was a teacher in my “previous” life, what are your thoughts on the best undergraduate degree to pair with a nutrition masters? I am worried that maybe I would not gain as much because my bachelor’s degree is not science based?

    1. That’s a great question! It depends on whether or not you want to become a registered dietitian. Many of the Masters level classes have science prerequisites, but not all. If you want to be an RD (most who get their masters do) there is a list of undergraduate courses (referred to as DPDs) that you must have. My undergrad was a Bachelors of science in public health, so I had a bit of a head start in sciences, but I still had to take several undergrad nutrition classes to meet those DPD requirements. Many of my classmates did not come from a science background, so the journey has been a bit longer for them, but most would say it has been worth it. Feel free to email with more questions- katebennett925 @ gmail


  10. I think my top priority is being happy and fulfilled. I achieve this by running and making sure the food I eat is both enjoyable but also is good for my body to keep me running long. I also make sleep a priority and reading for pleasure something I do because it relaxes me. I guess health and happiness then would be my priorities

  11. I love this post for your honesty and perspective on the important things in life. To me, living a happy and fulfilled life with my loved ones is what is essential, and restriction/obsession are certainly not conducive to that.

  12. I love what you said about using nutrition to enhance your body, not control it! I am interested in following the career path to become a registered dietitian, however, I know that I need to get my own nutrition and recovery in check before I can do that. My own dietitian also overcame an eating disorder and women like her and you are people who I look up to and show me that full recovery is possible!

    1. I discovered my desire to be a dietitian when I was in maintenance mode for recovery. I think if I had pursued it before that it would have been for the wrong reasons. When I started I actually thought I would avoid working with eating disorders, but now I realize that it would be a total disservice to the journey I’ve been through not to!
      Thank you for sweet words!

  13. I love the idea that living healthfully is important, but living a meaningful life is more important. So true! It’s great to have a healthy body that can be active and enjoy the things you love, but if you’re so concerned about your body that you can’t enjoy the things you love, what’s the point?

    1. Exactly- what’s the point? When I hear people talking about the compensating they will do after eating a treat I want to ask exactly that. If you’re not going to enjoy it, what’s the point?

  14. I love your mindset towards food and can’t wait til I can get to that point-away from all these negative thoughs- too ❤

    1. >>>>Garth keeps telling us to stick a chunk of our savings into Canadian Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) which I think is a lot riskier than he admits.While I can’t comment on the specific risk of individual REIT’s, owning some REIT’s is important in lowering risk to your overall portfolio. They are either inversely or not correlated to other investment types like equities, bonds, and cash. In combination with a steady investment program and portfolio rebalancing, they should actually help stabilize your investments over the long term.

  15. I can definitely relate, I have days where you would have a hard time believing I am a Nutrition student haha! I always balance it out, and I think that’s really key.
    That ice cream is making me miss summer so bad, I thought spring was on it’s way but the outdoors is looking quite like a blizzard right now. Not fun getting home in my canvas shoes instead of boots. UGH.

  16. I love this Kate. I posted about my new journey towards gaining some healthy weight today. To do so, I have to throw traditional “health rules” out the window based on what’s healthy for ME right now. This can be especially hard as dietitians since we literally preach intuitive eating/low-calorie/veggies all day long!

  17. 110% agree with your priorities. Back when I thought I was eating as healthy as I could, I missed out on going out for ice cream with my friends and I spent all day worrying about the next meal. It was not a full life. Now I focus on nourishing myself, and that means eating vegetables, but also ice cream when I want it.

    1. What a miserable life, right?? I’m so glad that I can spontaneously eat a slice of pizza or grab ice cream without thinking about the rest of my day. My social life has improved immensely!

  18. I love this and totally agree with your priorities. My top priorities is to not let food be the soul focus of my life, and to do things that bring me happiness instead of stress and worry. That means going out and getting that ice cream cone with friends and not hyper focusing on it, because life is too short for that 🙂

  19. Nutrition is one of my top priorities! I know that my body needs the proper fuel in order to function. I’ve never had a blood orange before, it looks pretty tasty 🙂

    Edye // Gracefulcoffee

  20. I love your thinking on nutrition! It’s really nice to see someone with a healthy approach to food, especially in this world where so many people are misinformed. And it’s really inspiring to see someone overcome an eating disorder to help others with the same struggles.
    My number one priority being authentic. I can’t stand the thought of not being true to myself, even if it means that I lose some friends or cause some controversy along the way.

    1. So much misinformation! It baffles me what people will say to make a dollar.
      Authenticity is both wonderful for readers and for ourselves. Life’s to complicated already to try and project something you’re not!

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