We first met Christian Henderson, MS, RD, CDN, a Registered Dietitian and Certified Dietitian Nutritionist, when she provided us with ten great superfoods for our skin at Organic Avenue's event before Christmas.
Christian holds a Master's in Nutrition from James Madison University and a Bachelor’s in Economics from the University of Virginia. She began her career as a Clinical Dietitian specializing in cancer, cardiology, and neurology at New York University Medical Center, and honed her skills in private nutrition counseling while working in the New York based private practice of nationally recognized Registered Dietitian, Keri Glassman, before founding Pure Nutrition in 2009.
As you'll see from this interview Christian's philosophy on food and dieting is right in line with ours, and she talks to us about everything from superfoods, olive oil, and winter skin.
MBG: When did you first become interested in nutrition?
CH: I first became interested in nutrition in high school -- it was really my love for running that led to my interest in nutrition. I realized that what I ate played a role in how I ran and I became fascinated with the topic. It wasn’t until after college that I took my interest seriously and considered a career path in nutrition.
How would you sum up your philosophy on food?
The closer to nature the better, hence the name of my company: Pure Nutrition. I agree with Michael Pollan: “If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.” However, for many this is easier said than done. I am a believer in the benefits of personal progress, not unrealistic perfection.
What's the biggest misconception about diet/weight loss that you'd like to clear up?
It is not just about the numbers. So many people, when deciding what to eat, will look at the numbers -- the calories, fat grams, fiber grams, etc. But, there is so much more to food than the numbers. I recommend looking at the ingredients first and if there isn’t a list of ingredients (for example in fresh, whole fruits and vegetables), all the better! Take goji berries compared to jelly beans. Although their numbers are similar, their ingredients are quite different. There is only one ingredient in goji berries, while there is a long list of ingredients in jelly beans -- basically corn syrup and a lot of chemicals. Our body has to process everything that comes in and what it can’t process it is going to store for later. That can’t be ignored.