March is National Nutrition Month. Read on to meet Kara Ellis, CHC, Inc.’s Lead Dietitian!
– What inspired you to become a Registered Dietician?
Growing up I always thought I wanted to be a doctor – until my senior year of college when I finally decided that I wanted to work more on the prevention of medical conditions, rather than the treatment. Nutrition plays such a pivotal role in disease prevention and overall wellness.
– What’s your favorite food?
Mint chocolate chip ice cream – sometimes it’s not about being healthy J
– Can you briefly describe your favorite recipe?
Asparagus with wasabi mayo (a total crowd pleaser at any party!): Blanch 2 lb trimmed thin to medium asparagus. In a bowl, whisk together 1 cup low fat mayonnaise, 4 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce, 1 ½ teaspoons sugar, 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, 2 teaspoons wasabi paste.
– What is one general tip you would give to someone looking to improve their diet?
Eat more fiber. Most people’s diets contain inadequate amounts of fiber. Fiber has been clinically shown to improve plasma cholesterol levels, reduce risk for colorectal cancers, increase satiety – thereby aiding in weight loss, and promotes bowel regularity. By just switching to whole wheat bread, you can increase your daily fiber intake by at least 8 grams from 2 slices!
– If you were stranded on an island, what is one food/beverage you’d want unlimited supply of?
– What does National Nutrition Month mean to you?
National Nutrition Month is a time not only to recognize the wonderful dietitians nation-wide, but highlights how important eating a healthy diet is for overall wellness. It is important to remember that making smart food choices should not be done for just one month, but should be part of your lifestyle. Fad diets and restrictive diets don’t work because they are not sustainable. This year, the theme of 2013 National Nutrition Month is to “Eat right. Your way, Every day” – not just for 2 weeks when you realize that you’re hungry and that the diet you are on is boring!
– What’s the best part of your job?
When a patient realizes that they have lost weight, decreased their Hg A1C, and are no longer on blood pressure medication all from making small and realistic changes to their diet and lifestyle, and they don’t feel like they are missing out on their favorite foods.