About Me

Note from Maria: I am a Registered Dietitian with a Master of Public Health Degree in Nutrition from UNC at Chapel Hill. I have a passion for helping people with nutrition & wellness, especially moms. Women & moms provide care for everyone else often at the expense of considering their own needs. I hope to provide good resources to you to help you make nutrition and wellness a priority.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Change...a little at a time......

I have an old friend from junior high/high school, Dr. Ronnie, who is now a family physician. Dr. Ronnie is dedicated to educating people about health and wellness to prevent chronic disease. Here is a link to his facebook page where he shares quick tips for staying healthy: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dr-Ronnies-Healthy-Seconds/477346905233

This week I agreed to help him with a short TV clip about nutrition to be aired in the Greenville, NC area.We talked about barriers or things that people perceive as barriers to prevent them from making healthy choices. I thought the basic points from our discussion were worth sharing so here it goes:

1. Knowledge - what does a healthy meal look like? Here are the basic tips, remember to think about your plate, www.choosemyplate.gov

  • 1/2 non starchy veggies 
  • 1/4 lean protein
  • 1/4 whole grain
  • Drink low fat milk or water
  • Have 3 servings of fruit/day
  • Measure out portion sizes, especially for processed foods. 

2. Cost - you can afford to eat healthy, it just takes a little planning:

  • Meal plan! - use sales flyer to plan meals for week using lean meat/veggies on sale, plan meals, make a list at home, use coupons and shop based on your list. 
  • Stock up on plain frozen veggies when they are on sale.
  • Consider foods such as canned tuna or salmon for inexpensive protein sources
  • Eat less meat, 3 or 4 ounces in a serving. Have a meatless dinner once/wk
  • If funds are tight: dried beans/brown rice - inexpensive easy dinner
  • Determine if you are eligible for food assistance programs.
  • Eat out less and eat at home more. Pack food/snacks with you when you are on the go.
  • Buy less prepared food and cook w/ fresh/frozen

3. Behavior change - Set your self up for success. Don't try to change your whole meal pattern at once. Doing a little at a time will make the adjustment easier and will help you establish new habits so that they can be lifelong. Pick a goal per week, examples:

  • wk 1- Change to low fat dairy products
  • wk 2 - Have 5+  fruits/veggies each day
  • wk 3- walk 15 minutes at least 5 days/wk
  • wk 4 - reduce/eliminate soda/sugar sweetened beverages
  • wk 5 - switch to brown rice /100% whole grain bread (white wheat is OK)
  • wk 6 - increase walk time to 20 mins at least 5 days/wk
Don't eat food you don't like because you think it is healthy.

Try making healthier versions of your favorites.....oven fried chicken, whole grain banana bread, sweet potato oven fries.

Balance meals by eating more of the veggies and one serving of the other items.

To find more info, follow these links: 

recipes: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/healthy-recipes/RecipeIndex
nutrition tips: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/MY00431
guide to recipe substitutions to make your favorite's healthier: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/healthy-recipes/NU00585
basic nutrition info: www.eatright.org

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