To say I enjoy watching Friends, the television sitcom is very very true and quite honestly an understatement. This show started out as something I saw as replays on weeknights occasionally, to completing the entire 10 seasons in full, to being able to speak in fluent Friends quotes with my husband.
So what’s so great about this show and why am I, a Registered Dietitian, talking about it in this blog post? Well, I believe there’s never a reason to NOT talk about Friends. Second, this show has always been a consistent part of my life. I’m talking all through high school, undergrad, dietetic internship, and now starting my career and completing my masters degree. It was there for me while I decided that this was the field I wanted to go into. It was there for all the study sessions (playing in the background), lunch breaks on campus, sparks of conversations with friends, and everything in between. It was always a stress reliever, a source of laughter, and a reminder that life doesn’t have to be perfect all the time.
You know what else is “always there for you?”...food.
We all have our own lives, our own interests, our own quirks that make us who we are and the life we pursue on a daily basis. But the one thing we cannot survive without (besides, water, oxygen, mental & spiritual health, and I’m sure a few other things) is proper nutrition. It’s an underlying factor that drives our ability to live the aforementioned life you strive for in the best way possible. Take away a healthy relationship with food, and your day to day life instantly becomes messy. You might spend WAY too much time stressing about food, worrying what others think about your choices, or filtering through all the nutrition crap that the media throws our way. Next thing you know, you’re trying one diet and then the next, each one giving you false promises, letting you down, and making you think it’s all your fault.
As a dietitian, this diet culture we live in is BEYOND infuriating. It crushes my heart to watch so many people I know and love fall into so many diet traps and truly not understand that it doesn’t have to be this way. You absolutely have the right to live life without counting calories, without restricting certain foods, and without eating past certain times of day. You can definitely eat every single one of your favorite foods and without a specific reason (except a food allergy!). And I know as shocking as it may be, foods do not have a “good” or “bad” label to them. Let’s be real, we just don’t not have time for all these food rules!
So as I sit here, typing this up & watching (you guessed it) Friends, my goal is to continue this blog post series. One that talks about nutrition on a relatable level, just like we can all relate to Monica’s obsession to clean (or maybe that’s just me), Chandler’s sarcasm, and Pheobe’s quirks. To filter through all the diet schemes and “nutritionist” advice, leaving you with evidenced-based information that even Ross’ scientific mind would trust. And finally, keeping you entertained and wanting to keep coming back to learn, and maybe sipping on a cup of joe in a giant mug while doing so. Even if nutrition and healthy eating isn’t your passion like it is mine, my goal is to provide you with the support you need to let go of all these food rules we started to live by at some point and just start living the life you were meant to.
So if you feel like “you’re always stuck in second gear” when it comes to losing the weight, becoming more in tune with your body, or just feeling better overall, just know that “i’ll be there for you”, in this blog, with Enlightened Nutrition, or just as your friend.
Warm Wishes, Elle Merrill