“Eating well, a matter of intelligence” by Pilar Senpau

The first time I heard about this woman (Pilar Senpau) was years ago, in the Catalan TV program called Quequicom. The weekly program used to cover different subjects from a didactic-scientific approach, and that week it was about diets and losing weight.

Pilar Senpau was the nutritionist of a girl who was trying to lose weight. Even if food and nutrition was not my worry back then, listening to her rationality and natural way of presenting the whole subject was very interesting.

I remember a scene where the girl and the nutritionist were food shopping in a supermarket, and Senpau was providing the girl (and the audience) with interesting insights I never thought of before.

She highlighted the importance that anxiety and stress have when dieting. And she advised the girl to make sure her diet shopping list included items such as chocolate and perfume. Chocolate is a calming food that would improve her sense of comfort and natural craving for sweetness, while smelling a perfume or fragrance we enjoy connects directly to our olfactory memories and eases anxiety.

Year later, when I failed to follow the restrictive diet suggested for my tricky “challenge”, I remembered about her and how I liked her approach when it came to healthy eating.

I Googled her, and found out that she had written a few books and I chose “Eating well, a matter of intelligence” (Menjar bé, una qüestió d’intel·ligència).

Here we can get a flavour of her approach when it comes to health and nutrition (for Catalan/Spanish speakers):

Seeking for the WHY?

Why does milk and honey help us sleep? Why are eggs so important? Why do the nutrients from most vegetables need to be mixed with oil in order to be absorbed properly?

The good thing about this author (as well as another great one which I hope to talk about soon in another post), is that her kind, sweet and clear approach to the whole subject of food and nutrition makes it easier to understand, and therefore, achievable.

When it comes to nutrition, it is much easier for me to follow healthy habits when I learn why good foods are actually good and bad foods are bad. Instead of thinking I have to eat this, it becomes I choose to eat this because I know how it is going to benefit me. And that is an important mental switch which helps you go for cleaner habits.

In other books, she goes more in deep into how weight is linked to psychology, and how dieting sometimes is not enough to get rid of those extra kilos. Another interesting point of view, which makes it more human.

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