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Osoyoos Library hosts ‘Nutrition in 2021’ talk as part of healthy living series

Osoyoos Library hosts ‘Nutrition in 2021’ talk as part of healthy living series

Neha Chollangi

Times-Chronicle

The Osoyoos Library is starting the new year with the virtual talk “Nutrition in 2021: Keep it Healthy & Simple” as part of their healthy living presentations.

The latest presentation is taking place Tuesday, Jan. 12 at 6:30 p.m., by holistic nutritionist Raina Lutz who will discussing the best anti-diet, and mindful eating.

“Even though our branches might have been closed, we worked right through (COVID-19). There were lots of virtual programs, from story time to book clubs online; we have people who are learning how to use websites, how to use Zoom. There’s lots of resources that we are promoting,” said Joanne Schaffrick, Osoyoos librarian.

Schaffrick said that Lutz has done talks for the library a few times before and they’ve always had huge groups for her presentations.

“Some of our groups may be having about eight to 10 people, but with Raina, we usually have over 30, so it’s become very popular.”

Lutz has been a nutritionist for nearly a decade, consulting people about developing healthy and mindful eating practices. Within her time in the industry, she has encountered many clients who have an unhealthy relationship with eating in general. Especially for people who fall in the trap of diet culture by jumping from one trend to the next, dieting starts to feel like an essential part of their life, explains Lutz. Oftentimes, she saw how these diets were negatively impacting her clients’ mental health too.

“I help people a lot with the psychological side of it, because it’s not necessarily just the food. A lot of times it’s our emotional health and mental health that’s sort of in the way,” Lutz said, adding that there are usually many underlying factors in our mental health that influence our eating habits.

In fact, many recent studies have proven our brain and gastrointestinal system to be interlinked, with one directly impacting the other. For example, if someone is experiencing anxiety or depression, their brain may send signals to their gut that can in turn manifest as poor digestion issues.    

Having done many talks and presentations before, Lutz finds that many people are usually very interested in examining their own eating habits more closely because they haven’t been taught to do that before.

“They don’t teach you in school how to eat, they don’t tell you that you need to chew your food, they don’t teach us about how to get local food, and there’s just so many things that people don’t know,” she said.

When January rolls around, so do New Year’s resolutions that often include some sort of weight-loss or healthy eating goals. But with the tsunami of diet books and an ocean of voices telling people what is good or bad, it’s becoming increasingly hard to understand what to take seriously. One of Lutz’ goals is to reduce this overload of information by getting people to start listening to their own individual bodies and needs instead of what other people determine to be “good.”

The biggest issues Lutz sees with people include low energy levels, poor digestion, and body weight. A few fundamental practices that Lutz encourages people to do include meditating for a few minutes every day, and a short-term food diary—not to count calories but to track what you ate and how it made you feel. By doing this, she explains that we can start to become more in touch with what our body is telling us we need by paying attention to how specific foods make us feel.

“There’s been a big wave with people wanting to move more towards plant-based; a lot more people are aware of nutrition now and how they need to be making some changes, and eating local,” Lutz said.

She hopes that people can come away from the talk with a better understanding of a whole foods diet, the importance of eating foods grown by local farmers, and how to be mindful while eating.

The presentation is free and will take place on zoom. Register for the event online at https://orl.evanced.info/signup/calendar?&lib=1015.

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