We all have nutrition questions. Send yours along to RVNA’s on-staff dietitian, Meg Whitbeck, MS RDN, and she’ll get back to you with answers and advice.
December 2017 Newsletter: Ask the Dietitian
What happens in December … stays in December
At this time of year, I typically like to give advice on how to enjoy the holidays without going entirely off the rails. This year, however, I’m leaving you to your own devices to navigate the splendors of the season — I trust you! — and proceeding right on to January. It’s important to think about the new year before it actually begins.
If you have any nutritional aspirations or goals for 2018 – and most of us do – here are my tips for turning those aspirations into actualities.
Set a SMART Goal.
For those who haven’t encountered this curious acronym before, SMART stands for:
• Specific (simple, sensible, significant)
• Measurable (meaningful, motivating)
• Achievable (agreed, attainable)
• Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based)
• Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive)
This means that while having such noble plans as, “I will eat more healthfully in 2018,” or “I will eat less cheese and more fruit,” and “I will never touch red meat again!” are admirable, they are hard to measure. And possibly unrealistic. Whereas, “I will eat 3 servings of vegetables per day every day in January 2018,” is easy to understand and measure.
If you need help or advice setting SMART goals, please feel free to contact me for recommendations based on your specific needs at 203-438-5555 or email@example.com
Accountability is key. It’s good to have some “skin in the game.”
It’s generally considered ‘easier’ to succeed with a plan if you’ve committed time, energy, even money to the goal. And if you’re not the only one in the world who knows about the plan.
Take, for example, the age old question: “If a tree in the forest gives up dessert for January but “cheats” every night and nobody is there to see it, did the tree actually “cheat.”
Why yes, it did. That tree needed to join a weight management group, or keep a nutritional journal or, heck, tell some tree friends about its goals.
*Speaking of groups, take a look at our Women’s Nutrition & Lifestyle for Weight Management group starting on January 2nd. It promises to be motivational. And fun.
Get the support you need.
No man is an island. Look around you. Everywhere there are friends, family, colleagues, strangers even . . who likely have similar goals to your own. Or meaningful goals of their own.
Enlist each other.
Find a workout buddy to meet you at the gym or on the roads; join forces with a family member to reinforce good habits at home; share your goals with colleagues and spend lunchtime together comparing notes or taking a brisk walk.
Getting support from those around you increases your chances of success. And makes it more fun while you’re at it.
Happy New Year!
November 2017 Newsletter: Ask the Dietitian
The Perfect Antidote — A Recipe for November
May we offer . . . .
1 3lb Butternut Squash, peeled, deseeded, &
cut into 1-inch cubes
1 15oz. can black beans, rinsed & drained
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. dried oregano
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, rinsed & chopped
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes, with liquid
4 cups vegetable stock
4 oz. can chopped green chilis
1 tsp. salt (optional, or less to taste)
3 scallions, trimmed and sliced into small rings
2 thinly sliced radishes
1 avocado, halved and chopped into small cubes
1 lime, sliced into wedges
This recipe can be prepared on the stovetop, or in the slow cooker. Choose a large soup pot and place over medium heat. If using the slow cooker, turn on high at the start of the recipe while adding ingredients.
Prepare butternut squash and place in a large bowl. Drain and rinse black beans, add to butternut squash. Drizzle the olive oil into the bottom of the pot or slow cooker. Add onion, celery and garlic. Saute for 3-4 minutes. Add prepared squash and black beans, do not stir. Add pepper, cumin, chili powder, oregano, cilantro, tomatoes, vegetable stock and green chilis. Add ½ tsp salt. Gently stir to incorporate ingredients, being careful not to mash the black beans. For the stovetop, turn to low and let simmer for 2 hours. For slow cooker, cover and set to low for 4-5 hours. Once cooking is completed, add second ½ tsp. of salt as desired to taste. Stir well and serve immediately. Top with scallions, avocado, radishes and lime.
Most soup, stew and even casserole recipes can be made in a slow cooker. This saves you precious time on your feet and allows you to make a meal even when a stove isn’t available.