Awe...nutrition, a healthy diet- my nemesis. If you are anything like me, you have an insatiable sweet tooth. It's beyond habit. Sugar craving, dessert eating is a part of your make-up. At least that is your excuse and your sticking to it! Shoot, if you could only save yourself from yourself, who knows how many mood swings, sugar rushes and crashes you'd avoid in a day. In comes my friend Peri Donner a certified nutritionist to set us straight! She was kind enough to answer some questions I had about nutrition for the Joy of Fitness Mom nurturing the whole self for optimal well-being, especially how a nutritionist can help people like me and others better our lives- our overall well-being through healthy eating.
Exactly what is a nutritionist? Is there a difference between a dietician and nutritionist?
Great question - The biggest difference is in the perspective and schooling. As a nutrition and wellness coach, I take a broader approach and look at more than just the nutrition aspect of life. I focus on the entire package; mind, body and soul. Dieticians are more focused on the bio-chemistry of food and how they work with the body. The role of the dietitian is to oversee nutritional guidelines for patients, using their nutritional expertise to help people overcome illness and maintain overall health.
I have spent many years learning and gaining knowledge of the body, mind and soul. It is a total package!
Each person is different which means “bio individuality” is imperative to wellness.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, your background, the why and how you became a nutritionist?
My interest in health goes far beyond food; I have been seasoned as a personal trainer, spin instructor, fitness instructor and life coach. Combing my skills as a motivator and educator, I hope to help others reach their wellness goals!
Health & Wellness Coach
I am certified by the American Board of Drugless Practitioners as a Holistic health and nutrition coach.
What's your take on dieting, fad diets, trying to maintain a healthy diet in general?
I don’t believe in “diets”, I believe in a wellness focused lifestyle. These “Fad diets” set us up for failure and can really mess with our systems. It is best to consult with a nutritionist and wellness coach when embarking on a journey to better your health.
How can we eat healthier on a budget?
Doing anything on a budget is a great opportunity! I think it opens the door to try new things. If we can change the “challenge” to an exciting opportunity, we are more likely to succeed.
I offer grocery store tours as a way to help people trim the fat off their budgets and from the walls of their arteries! My cooking classes show you how to make more with less! One really great way is to sit down and plan your meals for the week or month – that way you know what to look for in the store and can really save money on unnecessary purchases.
Many people buy junk food because they think it is cheaper when in fact it is not. Junk food is not cheaper or healthier –when you add up the health costs you will incur in life to treat allergies, obesity, diabetes, heart disease – you name it – the “junk” that our society puts in our bodies causes the bad stuff in our bodies. Eating healthy saves you money and helps you to thrive in the present and future.
Ask yourself this, Can you put a price on your health?
Any tips and tricks of the trade that people can start incorporating into their diets now?
- Eat real food... If it is processed, try to stay away from it.
- The author Michael Pollan says it best “eat food, not much, mostly plants”. However, we have to remember we are all different and need different nutrition.
- If it comes from the ground or a tree it is typically good (veggies, fruits)!
- The more you bring healthy food into your life, the more you will want to crowd the bad out.
- If it has more than 5 ingredients that you don’t know what they are – don’t eat it.
How would a nutritionist benefit me?
I’m glad you asked! As I said before, we are all different – food, exercise and lifestyles that work for one person might be poison for another. Literally, your food can be poisoning you. I give people the opportunity to learn what is best for their body, mind and souls!
Nutrition and wellness coaches are trained to help you figure out what is best for YOU. It is all about personalization.
Any ideas on how to introduce healthy eating to the family? Kids?There are always healthy alternatives.
I have many great ideas to get kids and family on the healthy band wagon. Again, it depends on what your kids and family like to eat. This is a very “family- centric” question to answer here, sitting down with the family is best. One really great way to get good food into dishes is the food processor. I put all types of veggies in it until they are almost a puree and then I throw them into a sauce. Mix them into the hamburger you are making ( or ground turkey burger). There are lots of ways to get veggies and fruit into the kiddos!
I offer grocery store visits, cooking classes and post recipes on my blog. In my cooking classes, I focus on ways to make tasty, healthy treats which kids and adults will enjoy while still getting nutrition!
How do you deal with different body types, personality types, environmental factors... I mean it seems a lot a factors affect how and what we eat. For example, I am a tall, skinnish person, who thought she was in good shape to find out I had high cholesterol. How do you break down the barriers, people's misconceptions and break through?
There are many factors that contribute to health and wellness. It isn’t about a fad diet, eliminating carbs or running 15 miles a week. Just because you are “tall and thin” does not mean that your diet and wellness plan will be the same as the next tall and thin person! People come in all shapes and sizes – we all have different stressors, triggers and demeanors. This again, is why individual plans are so important.
It is my job to listen, observe, and help problem solve. I can help create a wellness plan that will work, but it is up to the individual to put that plan to action and each step is important! We can’t bite off more than we can chew! Taking small steps will foster long lasting results.
Anything you'd like to add?
Wellness plans are forever, diets and fads – set us up for failure, generally because they are unrealistic and not sustainable (or healthy). Let’s find a plan for you, that helps you succeed!
This journey is not about being as skinny as we can be. It is about being our best selves and loving every moment of life. I offer a path to an invigorating, healthy and peaceful life! Check out my website www.peridonner.com and sign up for a free health consultation today!
Check out these
Choose My Plate
Know What You Eat
Nutrition.gov- Smart Nutrition Starts Here
Thanks Peri for sharing your expertise with us! Up next for Wellness Month: Meet the Experts we will hear from a mom of four and exceptional yoga instructor.
Love this qoute (Thanks Peri!):
"Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny" -Gandhi