Healthy Habits of a Registered Dietitian

Hello, my name is Brieanna and I have been a neglectful blogger.

I wish I could say that a 4 month safari in Africa or a deep sea expedition in the Atlantic has kept me away, but unfortunately my excuses are not quite that profound…or cool. I am guilty of a) working more this summer b) filling my free-time with trips and activities c) lacking my usual creative mojo and d) just not feeling very motivated to post.

Despite thinking about the blog on a weekly basis, I kept finding an excuse not to sit down and write something. I felt guilty about not doing it…but that didn’t seem to be enough to prompt a new post. I fell prey to something I talk about on a daily basis: inactivity (not strictly in a physical sense) and allowing fixable barriers to stand in the way of progress. Regularly I talk about goal setting, making a plan of action, holding yourself accountable and re-assessing your personal growth.

Knowing what to do doesn’t make you do it.

That is why it’s important to be reflective, note positive and negative habits, take time to figure out what you really want, what it will take to get there and then outline a plan (step by specific step) to keep you on track. It took some time, but I figured out that making time to write, especially about things I enjoy, is a positive/energy-giving activity in my life and it also drives me to do bigger and better things on a more regular basis.

Okay, enough about me. Let’s talk about a new segment I am excited to share!

Healthy Habits of Registered Dietitians

I asked some incredible RDs what they do to stay happy, balanced and healthy and got some really wonderful responses.

The first RD I am featuring is Kelly Murphy RD, LDN. She is a lovely clinical dietitian working in Northern Virginia.

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These are some of the healthy habits she swears by:

    1. Exercise your way. I’ll admit, I’m not a huge fitness fiend. I find jogging to be monotonous, and I’m not creative enough to make up a well-rounded workout on the fly in the weight room. I’ve learned that I need a bit of guidance and variety to truly maximize my time at the gym. For this reason, I love attending group exercise classes. I experiment by trying different types: Zumba, cardio kickboxing, Pilates, and cycling. The upbeat music keeps me interested, and the direction from an instructor encourages me to stay focused on my form and give my best effort. Most of all, I have a blast, and my workouts double as a stress reliever! Find the type of exercise that you enjoy, and you’ll be more likely to stick to your fitness routine and have fun doing it.
    2. Stock your kitchen for success. I keep my kitchen stocked with a few staple items so it’s easier to throw together a home-cooked meal at the last minute. Restaurant and frozen convenience meals often contain excess salt, sugars, and other unnecessary ingredients, so I try to cook for myself as often as I can. Most fresh foods contain small amounts of sodium and natural sugars, but moderation is the key. Here are my must-haves:
      • Whole grain side dish such as brown rice, barley, or quinoa
      • Flavorful stock such as vegetable or chicken broth
      • Low-sodium canned vegetables such as tomatoes for sauces and soups
      • Proteins such as lean chicken and ground beef (I like to wrap and freeze individual portions)
      • Plant-based proteins such as beans, peanut butter, lentils, and chickpeas
      • Low-fat dairy products such as skim milk, cheddar cheese, and plain Greek yogurt
      • Frozen vegetables such as corn, spinach, and edamame
      • Dried spices such as basil, oregano, parsley, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, and chili powder
      • Fresh fruit and vegetables whenever possible and in season

With a well-stocked kitchen, following a recipe or whipping up a dish of your own is less of a challenge.

      1. Prep meals and snacks ahead of time so healthy options are always available. I reserve a couple hours on the weekends to plan my menus for the week, shop for the necessary ingredients, and prepare as much as I can ahead of time so making meals is easier on busy weeknights. For example, I’ll slice fresh vegetables such as cucumbers and carrots to pair with hummus and toss in my lunch box for work all week. In the winter, I make large batches of chili with beans or vegetable soup. I’ll freeze half the batch and portion the rest into containers for a quick lunch or dinner. If I make healthier options available to myself, I’m less likely to turn to fast food in a pinch.
      2. Indulge a bit. Taking care of my body by eating right and exercising regularly are always important. However, my mantra is “moderation and balance.” A healthy, well-rounded diet can include a treat now and then. My favorite treats are salted caramels and pizza, and I do eat them occasionally. I just keep the portion small and make sure the rest of my day’s meals are balanced and nutritious.
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