I was on the Cape one day with a friend, and all he wanted to do was go to a clam shack.

Given that I am from the suburbs of Connecticut, and had really no idea what I was getting myself into, so off we went. As we waited in the 50+ line of people, I glanced at the menu and noticed that EVERYTHING was fried, except the boiled lobster. Greens? No where in sight. What was this nutritionist going to do?

Given the length of the line, I had quite some time to ponder this question. I immediately started thinking of what I would tell a client. My “Julie-isms” popped in my head: “whatever you do, think of the plate, find your protein, then veggies, then carbs” and “eat your rainbows – especially the GREEN.” I also thought of the health messages that we all have heard multiple times- whatever you do DON’T eat fried food, don’t drink soda, and if you are going to eat a carb, make it whole grain, or pick a veggie instead of the fries.

Waiting in line we had already been offered free lemonade twice – oy, if I only knew how much sugar was in it – but let me tell you it was damn good.

The clam shack was in a gorgeous location- across the street you could see the water and the boats go by. It was a summer day and everyone was happy, despite the line. My daughter was SO enthralled with the live lobsters and kept referring to the time that our lobster was sad (when we boiled it on the Cape last year) and that it is probably happy now (in lobster heaven? Who knows). Before I knew it it was my turn in line. What was this nutritionist to do?

She ordered what she wanted: fried clams, small fries, and a water. The food was delicious – and as I ate my fried clams, my friend and I discussed how one fried seafood place distinguishes itself from another? We never ended up with a concrete conclusion, but we did finish just about everything with smiles on our faces. Was that the HEALTHIEST meal I could have eaten? Absolutely not. But this meal was good for my soul – I made my decision and I stood by it. I felt no guilt after I ate it, because I am confident that I eat well.

What I try to teach my clients is to ENJOY food, and learn how food affects your body. Food is culture, family, and nourishment.

Happy Summer to everyone!

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