Today on The Thersday Series, I am delighted to introduce you to Meredyth Cann of Meredyth Delayne Nutrition. Meredyth and I are Kentucky girls who pulled up roots and transplanted elsewhere, she to Houston and me to Charlottesville. We know and love some of the same people and talking with her feels like going home. I’m so glad she’s joining the blog today to chat about the origins of her nutrition therapy company, the obstacles she sees to becoming our healthiest selves, and what we can be teaching our children about caring for their bodies in healthy ways. Welcome, Meredyth, to The Thersday Series! I’m so glad you popped by!
You have a nutrition therapy company. Tell us how those two words came together to form your business.
I am a certified Nutritional Therapy Consultant. This means that I believe in nutrient dense whole foods as a way of ushering in healing to our bodies and am capable of giving sound nutritional advice. I have been interested in food and nutrition for so many years and somewhere along the way before my certification, friends began asking me for help with their nutrition and meal planning. At that point, I figured, why not go to school for this so that I can become more educated about what I share with my friends? The bonus for me was geeking out over the reading materials and absorbing anything and everything I could get my hands on about food! I wanted a foundational background so that I could be confident about the information I was giving out—that it was, in fact, healthy, helpful and inspirational. It seemed like a natural fit to use my own name and the name of my certification in the title of my business so Meredyth Delayne Nutrition Therapy began!
You talk about your love for food. I agree that sharing a meal is such a sensory experience. Why do you think food has gotten such a bad rap? Are certain foods truly “good” or “bad” or everything in moderation?
I think foods have gotten a bad rap for two reasons. First, major food companies sneakily side swiped us all by putting imitations in real foods, causing Americans to experience all sorts of symptoms we were never intended to deal with. We have become sensitive, immune, allergic and flat out intolerant of certain foods, I believe unnecessarily, and it has become a great source of confusion for consumers. There is a ton of information out there and instead of doing our research and getting back to basics, many people are tempted to throw the baby out with the bath water and be fearful of food.
The other reason food gets a bad rap is because of our current body image culture. Somehow we decided that the size of our bodies determines how healthy we are and that, honestly, just couldn’t be further from the truth. This mindset has changed the way people view food in general and it has led to certain foods being labeled “bad.”
I would say in the context that most people understand food as being “good” or “bad,” there is really no such thing. We are all bio-individually created. We can’t all tolerate the same foods, just like we can’t enjoy foods the same way. I think the most important thing you can do is educate yourself (educating my clients is one of my biggest passions) and figure out what foods work best for your body. My goal is to give clients the information to help them make choices that will nourish their bodies so that they can feel and naturally look their best.
In your experience, what keeps potential clients from making a commitment toward a holistic lifestyle change? How do you encourage them to push beyond their fears?
I think for some people, changing course feels like a really big thing. It’s unknown and overwhelming.. This is why I do what I do. I journey with my clients anywhere from 4-12 weeks through the initial lifestyle transition, equipping them with necessary tools until they feel ready to nourish their bodies on their own. I love empowering my clients by giving them information and encouragement while they work with me, and also teaching them about their own bodies so they feel confident making healthy choices that will last a long time. I tell my clients two things often:
- Your stomach doesn’t rule you, you rule your stomach.
- You can do hard things.
Another fear that keeps people from a holistic change is the perceived cost. People get paralyzed by having to change everything at once, and when they think about the financial commitment, it can feel scary. The reality is that it doesn’t have to be an overnight shift, and it certainly doesn’t have to break the bank. This lifestyle most certainly CAN be lived on a budget. Slow and steady wins the race here.
I have three daughters. What should I be teaching them NOW about their bodies that will serve them later?
I love this. Teaching them that they were created in the image of God on purpose and for a purpose is one of the greatest lessons a young girl can learn. We can become so consumed with appearance that we forget why God gave us bodies in the first place. Our bodies were created to be strong and healthy so that we can serve as ambassadors for Christ as long as we are here on earth. When we understand nutrition goes beyond the scale, we begin to make healthy choices because we know they will make us stronger. When we feel strong, we become drawn to caring for our bodies because we see first-hand the impact we can have when we are at our best.
Teaching your girls how to eat healthy is important, but it’s also important to encourage them to splurge and enjoy things that taste good to them. I think it would be beneficial for them, and for us all, if we gradually backed away from feeling like food is our enemy and certain things are off limits. I think then we will begin to see food as a tool for nourishment, fellowship and enjoyment.
If tonight was your last meal, where would you be, what would you eat, and who would be there with you?
This is a great question. I would probably be with my good friend Rebecca because we love food. We savor it, and talk about meals for days after they’re over. She knows how to enjoy good food with me, so my last meal would be a lot of fun with her. We would probably be outside somewhere, anywhere really, with a grilled burger (no bun), homemade sweet potato fries, roasted brussel sprouts (y’all think I’m kidding, but no) a glass of dark apothic red wine and a chocolate chip cookie from Tiny’s No. 5. Now I want to eat this meal right now!