November 2016

When it Comes to Nutrition, One Size Does Not Fit All

“Give me a diet, and I will eat whatever you tell me."

Dozens of women knock on our doors pleading for a manual, a script for what they should eat each day. This is understandable; people are busy, overwhelmed with work responsibilities, home life, and other demands. Sometimes it is easier to have someone tell you what to do. But this approach fails to consider several important things: your lifestyle, budget, medical history, and food preferences, to name a few. The most delectable of meal plans will sit untouched if the recipes are too challenging, too expensive, or simply don’t appeal. And without your medical history in mind, a meal plan may undermine your health goals. 

What works for one person may not work for the next!

Our dietitian will take the time to get to know you, and from there, will work with you to create goals and strategies that fit your lifestyle. We teach our clients how to make good decisions and build their own meal plans. Many would like to lose weight. Some struggle with medical conditions like anemia, high blood pressure, IBS, osteoporosis, or high cholesterol. Others are struggling to feed their families well because they are so busy. Still others lack confidence in the kitchen and simply need some guidance. And while each client brings unique challenges to the table, we have identified some common themes and plenty of strategies to address them.

Rather than diets, we encourage behavior changes that will last a lifetime. Start with one or two behaviors and focus on those until they become second nature. When those become a habit, choose a few more. 

Use the following checklist to help identify if there are areas you can improve upon (answering yes or no): 

  • Are you drinking at least 8-10 cups of water each day?

  • Are you eating at least 9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day?     

  • Do you get enough fiber?  (25 grams for women, 38 grams for men)

  • Do you get adequate calcium? Vitamin D?

  • Do you eat mostly whole grains (vs. refined grains)?

  • Do you take the time each week to plan meals and a grocery list for you and your family?

  • Do you rely frequently on prepared foods or takeout?

  • Do you wish you could plan meals better?

  • Do you wish your children ate more nutritious foods?

  • Do you have medical conditions that could be improved with better nutrition?

  • Are you unsure what to eat and when?

  • Are you an emotional eater? (boredom, stress, sadness) 

Take note of your responses, and identify TWO things that you can take action on right away. If there are more than a few, maybe you need a little bit of help! 

Our Registered Dietitian, Alison Doak, works with women and children on all of the above challenges, and much more. Alison serves members and non-members alike, and accepts most major Health Insurance plans.

By: Alison Doak, MS, RDN, LDN

*This was originally published in the Milton Times, October 2016. 

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