Healthy Eating for All

Welcome to Hello! Baltimore County.
I’m Ellen Kobler.
If it’s true that
you are what you eat,
after the holidays, we might all
be in a little bit of trouble.
Here to help us get back on track
for the new year
is Abby Patterson,
a registered dietician nutritionist
with Nourish Family Nutrition.
Thank you so much for joining us.
Happy New Year.
Thank you.
Thank you for having me here today.
So, tell us a little bit
about being a dietician
and Nourish Family Nutrition,
first of all.
Yeah. Absolutely.
So, Nourish Family Nutrition
is a private practice
of registered dieticians
in the Baltimore area.
So, we provide nutrition counseling
and nutrition services
to individuals, families,
and businesses —
my primary role being
corporate wellness.
So, I work on site, particularly
with different businesses
and Baltimore County employees
throughout the Baltimore area.
Okay. So, you have brought us
seven essential tips
for establishing healthy habits.
Let’s start with number one,
which is my personal favorite:
Ditch the diet. Yay!
Yes. So, ditch the diet, and you all
might be surprised to hear this one.
But ditch the diet,
especially this time of year.
We see diet information
everywhere you look,
and we know that diets don’t work.
The research is there.
So, about 95% of people
fail diets, and it’s the–
They’re set up for– They have
rigorous rules for us to follow.
– ELLEN: Really regimented.
– ABBY: Really regimented, yep.
So be wary of anything
that is selling a supplement,
or they’re selling their food
or any product to buy.
So, I always recommend
thinking about, you know,
can you see yourself following this plan
in one year, five years, ten years?
And if the answer is yes,
then it sounds like a wonderful plan,
and that’s not a diet.
That’s a lifestyle change.
Okay. Well, that leads us to I think
my second favorite: Eat real food.
ABBY: Eat real food. Yes.
So, eat real food is food
where you can think about
where it came from
and how it got to your plate.
So, you think about
an apple outside on the tree,
and now it’s on your plate.
Or eggs. We know where eggs come from,
and now they’re on your plate.
So, processed food is going to be
broken down a little bit more,
and it’s going to contain more calories,
saturated fat, and more sugar.
So, not things that are
particularly beneficial
for trying to establish those
healthy habits and prevent disease.
And all those mysterious words
in the ingredients, that’s a red flag, right?
All the mysterious words, yeah.
And sometimes
there’s a lot of those.
So, kind of deciphering between
your real food and what’s not.
So, sticking to the basics —
fruits, vegetables, your whole grains,
lean proteins, foods that we know.
Those foods are going to provide
the most nutrition for our body.
So, meats are okay?
Yep. Lean proteins —
those are going to be the best.
They’re going to have
the least saturated fat.
So, lean chicken,
lean turkey, absolutely.
– Okay.
– Mm-hmm.
And make every meal
half produce.
That sounds
a little bit challenging.
Yes. And we’ve heard this
one time and time again.
So, fruits and vegetables
provide a ton of antioxidants,
and the research is there.
We know that a diet high
in fruits and vegetables
is high in antioxidants,
and those antioxidants
prevent against disease.
They help to delay
cell damage in the body.
So, we know that
they’re beneficial for us.
The tricky part
is getting them in.
So, I typically recommend–
For vegetables particularly,
I hear a lot,
what if I don’t like vegetables?
Try eating them in different ways,
preparing them in different ways —
roasting instead of boiling or adding
different seasonings or spices, as well.
Whole grains.
They’re very important, right?
Whole grains.
So, whole grains are going
to be defined as a grain
where all three parts
of the grain are intact.
That’s the definition of a whole grain,
and when you refine a grain,
you take away the fiber, the B vitamins,
and you’re left with one part of the grain,
which is really just the starch.
So, think about going from a
piece of whole wheat bread,
quality whole wheat bread,
to a piece of white bread.
So, you lose a lot of the nutrition there,
and you lose the fiber,
and that fiber helps to stabilize
blood sugar
and hold us over to the next meal
and helps to lower cholesterol, as well.
And you have to read the labels
on that, too, because these,
you know, food manufacturers,
they’re tricky.
They are very tricky.
So, what you’re looking for
on a food label,
since we’re chatting about bread,
I’ll go ahead and continue with that one.
The first ingredient you want
to see is whole-wheat flour
or whole-grain flour.
ELLEN: Okay. Good to know.
That means that it is
a whole grain,
or looking for the whole-grain stamp.
All right. And getting, sort of,
back to the don’t diet,
some people think,
well, if I skip a meal,
I’m getting fewer calories
throughout the day,
but that’s not good, huh?
It is not. So, that will backfire
on us in the end.
Eating regularly throughout
the day helps to stabilize metabolism,
energy levels,
and it helps to make sure
that we don’t overindulge or overeat
at a meal later in the day.
ELLEN: Right. Because if you feel like
you’re starving yourself,
you kind of get mad and you feel resentful,
and then you eat more, I guess.
ABBY: Yeah. Your blood sugar’s low,
and you’re hungry.
– And hangry.
– Absolutely.
And that will backfire on us
in the end.
So, eating regularly,
it does sound counterintuitive
to eat more
for establishing healthy habits,
but breakfast, lunch,
dinner, and some snacks
is the best way to make sure that you are
establishing healthy habits. Definitely.
ELLEN: Yay! I like what I’m hearing.
All right. Now…
Your next point has to do
not with food but with water.
Staying hydrated,
mostly with water,
is essential for making sure that
our body’s doing what it needs to do.
So, our body is composed
of about 60% water,
which is needed
for digestion and absorption,
so many different processes
in the body.
And if we’re dehydrated,
we’re going to feel it.
We’re going to feel fatigued.
We’re going to feel tired,
maybe a little cranky. And so…
– ELLEN: Do you feel hungrier even?
– ABBY: You can. Absolutely.
So, typically, the way that dehydration
manifests is in the form of hunger.
ELLEN: Oh, that’s weird. Okay.
ABBY: And we can grab food
instead of grabbing a sip of water,
which is what our body needs.
ELLEN: Hmm. Interesting.
So, it’s definitely something
to stay in tune with.
All right. And then your seventh tip,
I think,
is the one that makes
all the other tips work:
– Plan ahead.
– Planning ahead. Yes.
So, planning ahead,
taking 20 to 30 minutes
before you go grocery shopping
to assess your week
and plan some meals can be
really beneficial in saving time,
making more nutritious choices
and then saving money, as well.
So, just taking a little bit of time
before you go grocery shopping
can really set you up for success
with establishing healthy habits,
ELLEN: Well, here’s something I do.
I basically grocery shop
for the office,
because I know
I’m going to be hungry.
And so, I buy certain nuts,
and I’ll get little fruit packs and things
and have them there, so that I go there
rather than the vending machine.
Yeah. And that’s a great strategy,
because if you’re hungry,
you have something accessible
that’s a healthy option,
and if you don’t, the vending machine’s
the second option,
and when we’re hungry,
we know that if we need something,
we are going to eat what’s accessible.
So, having things readily available
is the best way
to set yourself up for success.
Okay. And talk a little bit more
about the eating real food.
I think that’s–
In a way, some people think if it’s raw
or whatever, I have to cook it.
It’s harder to do than the processed,
but I find that’s not necessarily true.
You know, with eating real food,
it is important to strive
to eat those foods
that are going to give us
the most nutrition.
So, those whole foods,
fruits, vegetables,
those lean proteins
that we talked about, beans.
And it doesn’t have to be that it’s
taking us a long time to prepare them.
So, grabbing fruits and veggies
that are already chopped
and preparing them that way
and really just steering clear
of a lot of our processed foods.
Okay. Got it.
Well, thank you very much.
We really appreciate
your taking time.
Thank you
for having me here today.
Sure. And thank you
for watching Hello! Baltimore County.
We encourage you to connect
with Baltimore County Government
on all of our social media platforms.
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