I recently worked through the online course, Nutrition Reconsidered, one of the many online courses that are available on the Education Hub at the Sport Science Institute of South Africa. Online courses can be a little tricky, one always expects that you will fly through the material and finish them overnight. The truth is that one has to take quite a bit longer, because there is a lot of information to absorb. As I wound my way through the course I realised that our family was changing the way they were eating significantly. We have started eating rainbows on a daily basis, all our meals have to pass the colour and crunch test.
The course is made up of five modules, and each module comprises between thirty and forty minutes worth of video material as well as printables, and a quiz at the end of each lesson, to make sure that you have understood the materials. I found as I went along, as my “nutrition vocabulary” grew, so it became easier to follow and I really got into the material and enjoyed it.
This module included a number of things to be aware of when looking for a healthy eating plan, things to avoid and things to steer clear of and as well as how to make good choices. Then a look at energy intake and deficits and setting up smart goals for healthy eating success.
In this module we looked in more detail at what individuals need for a healthy eating plan. Basically, everyone is unique and needs their own holistic eating plan. A person’s healthy weight is not just about the food that they eat, you need to consider how active their lifestyle is, their culture and their environment. We need to be aware of the extreme versions of eating that are portrayed in the media and concentrate on an eating plan that is sustainable for us: affordable, environmentally sustainable, culturally acceptable and nutritionally adequate. The biggest lesson in this module is how to keep a food diary. I would do the whole course just for this tip.
This is the module that teaches you exactly what is good to eat. After finally learning about which fats are which, the good vs the bad… and I really enjoyed learning about “interrogating” your food labels, forget reading the labels, you need to quiz those food labels before you can think of popping food into your mouth. Not to mention that supplements will never correct a poor diet. I felt much better equipped about reading food labels and shopping in general after this module.
Healthy eating plans from around the world, who knew that countries around the world had their own, culturally relevant dietary guidelines. In this module we look at the guidelines, and then the lesson moves on to a detailed meal plan and how to create one that fits with your lifestyle.
The final module is all about the multidisciplinary approach to healthy eating… There is so much more to weight management than the food that you eat. Where and how you eat, not to mention your lifestyle and not just wether are you active or inactive. I found this module to be the most encouraging… the whole course pulled together and packed with realistic and sustainable suggestions.
Overall the course was really useful. I learnt about a lot of practical tools that have been really easy to implement into our family meals… not all at once, but incrementally. I did learn that there is a lot more to healthy eating than people assume and that there is really no one meal plan that fits all… we are all unique and have unique needs. This a great course if you are interested in learning more about nutrition and I would recommend it for anyone who wants to eat more healthfully in general or anyone wanting to study nutrition further.