1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?
Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Licensed Clinical Psychologist and author of You Are WHY You Eat: Change Your Food Attitude, Change Your Life
2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?
My mother. Dessert was fruit, dinner was a freshly made Indian meal almost every night, and she did yoga before it was chic. There were some dark sides – she tended to pull for the “clean plate club” but by and large she also did give manageable portions – but that was the only down side.
3. What did they do to inspire you?
It was daily life, she cooked well with fresh ingredients, fruit was always present and we didn’t think cookies were a regular part of life.
4. How did their lesson change your life?
It made me mindful of what a healthy meal looks like, feels like, and honestly the effort that goes into it. But it also showed me that I was able to stay in shape as a kid quite well and it wasn’t until I was a teen and going out into the world and making my own choices that I fell “off the wagon” in some ways. A strange experience – I grew up with so little junk food that when it finally entered my life, I didn’t quite know what to do with it, so I overate it.
I try to make healthy stuff available all the time so we have healthy go-to’s available. I try and stay active so they can SEE ME being active (do as I do AND say). I make the unhealthy stuff available from time to time so my kids can “learn to be” with those foods and not be as out of control as I was when I got to have those foods on my own when I was older. I wish I was as good and healthy a cook as my mother, but I do at least try to honor the tradition of eating together so we can be mindful eaters together. The one thing I DO do differently is that I do not insist on the clean plate!
6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?
Try lots of things and figure out what you like. Take risks and give yourself permission to say yes, no and don’t feel like you have to finish everything on your plate. One great lesson I learned from a friend is to try to eat 30 different natural ingredients/flavors a day – makes it fun to eat lots of different things. Carry healthy snacks and eat the junk only on occasion. And MOVE every day – do PE, run, play with your friends, take a hike, dance, do active things with your family – take good care of your body now and then it will run better for you throughout your life.
7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?