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Health Nutrition Wellness

Heart Health: Your Heart Hearts These 5 Foods

There is an adage that says, “the heart wants what it wants.”

In this case, we’re talking about food and the diet your heart truly desires. 

According to the American Heart Association, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, poultry, fish, low-fat dairy products, nuts, legumes, and non-tropical vegetable oils is vital to heart health.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. About 655,000 Americans die from heart disease each year. According to the CDC, one person dies every 36 seconds in the U.S. from heart disease.

By living a healthy lifestyle, you can lower your risk of heart disease and heart attack. Try incorporating these 5 foods into your diet to keep your heart happy and healthy.

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5 Foods to Maximize Your Heart Health 

1. Berries

Berries are some of the healthiest foods you can eat and they provide a wealth of nutrients. They are a great source of polyphenols and fiber. Blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, and raspberries are not only very nutritious but are also known for their contribution to improving cardiovascular health. Studies have shown berries to be associated with decreased risks of cardiovascular disease due to the natural antioxidants and polyphenols they contain. The antioxidants and polyphenols in berries help fight chronic diseases, diabetes, and even cancer. Not to mention, berries are also gluten-free, low in calories, and high in moisture and fiber. These benefits of berries just keep getting sweeter. 

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2. Fatty fish

Eating fatty fish twice a week keeps your heart strong and not weak. Fatty fish is not only just a great source of protein, but it is also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which is great for heart health. The American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish twice a week. Fatty fish includes fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines, and albacore tuna. Research shows omega-3 fatty acids can reduce your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Omega-3-fatty acids can lower some types of fat in your blood and reduce the amount of plaque buildup in your arteries. 

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3. Mixed nuts

Did you know you can lower your risk of a heart attack by increasing your nut intake? Research shows nuts contribute to heart health because of the unsaturated fatty acids and nutrients they contain. Nuts can lower your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. All three of these are responsible for plaque buildup in your arteries. Eating nuts can also lower levels of inflammation and reduce the risk of developing blood clots which further increases your risk of heart disease. Walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, and pecans make great for a healthy snack. Fiber and Vitamin E are also found in nuts which play a major role in lowering your cholesterol and stopping the development of plaques in your arteries. 

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4. Whole grains 

Studies show incorporating more whole grains in your diet benefits your heart health. The most common types of whole grains include whole wheat, brown rice, oats, rye, barley, buckwheat, and quinoa. Whole grains are high in fiber and are associated with lower cholesterol and a reduced risk of heart disease. According to the American Heart Association’s “Whole grains and the heart” review, eating whole grains can reduce your risk of heart disease by up to 30%. Three servings of whole grains per day can help your heart stay healthy. For people who need to lower their cholesterol, reduce weight, or control their blood sugar levels, whole grains can help. 

5. Leafy green vegetables 

Leafy green vegetables include spinach, kale, and collard greens and provide a wealth of nutrients. A great source of Vitamin K, leafy green vegetables contain a plethora of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Vitamin K plays a major role in protecting your arteries and improving arterial function. Leafy green vegetables are also high in dietary nitrates which have been shown to reduce blood pressure and improve the function of cells lining the blood vessels. Studies show leafy green vegetables are linked to a lower risk of heart disease and better heart health. 

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How Trusted ER Can Help You

Although eating healthy plays a critical role in the promotion of heart health, it is not only dependent on what you eat. Physical activity and exercise are optimal for heart health as well. Exercising for 30 mins or more a day can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

If your chest pain and heart problems are severe, seek emergency care at one of our Trusted ER locations near you. At Trusted Medical, are here for you and ready to treat any illness or injury. 

We have 8 locations where we provide the best-in-class healthcare to patients in the most comfortable environment with exceptional care. Our ER offers limited wait times, as each of our patients is roomed and seen by our clinical team within a few minutes, and we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

For more healthy food ideas or dietary advice that is specific to your needs, consult with a registered dietitian or healthcare provider. Be sure to check out our blog for more healthy lifestyle content.

Trusted ER is “Doing the right thing. Every patient. Every time.”

Categories
Nutrition

10 Foods That Can Trigger Headaches

There is nothing more annoying than a pounding or throbbing headache. Although common, headaches can disrupt your sleep or productivity. 

According to the World Health Organization, “almost half of the adult population have experienced a headache at least once within the last year.”

If you are suffering from frequent headaches but are unsure what’s causing them, it may be the foods you are eating. Certain foods trigger headaches due to the chemicals and ingredients in the foods such as tyramine and histamine. Foods that give you headaches range from chocolate and alcohol to citrus fruits and aged cheese.

 Not all headaches are triggered by foods but if your headaches are, it is important to know your triggers and how to avoid them. 

Here are 10 foods that can trigger headaches according to the National Headache Foundation

 10 Foods That Trigger Headaches 

1. Excess Caffeine 

Some of the most common reasons people experience headaches are drinking excess caffeine and caffeine withdrawals. Although a healthy amount of caffeine can treat oncoming migraines, too much caffeine can trigger a headache according to the American Migraine Foundation

2. Alcohol 

Studies show that two chemicals, tyramine, and histamine, which are found in alcohol, especially red wine, trigger headaches and migraines. According to the American Migraine Foundation, about 1/3 of migraine sufferers reported alcohol to be a trigger for their occasional migraines.  

3. Milk chocolate 

The second most common trigger after alcohol is chocolate according to the American Migraine Foundation. Chocolate contains both caffeine and phenylethylamine which are both known to be headache and migraine triggers. 

4. Citrus fruits 

Although not a common trigger, citrus fruits have been known to trigger headaches occasionally. Fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes could be responsible for triggering your headaches therefore you may want to limit the number of citrus fruits that you consume. 

5. Artificial sweeteners 

Found in many calorie-free drinks, artificial sweeteners have shown to increase your risk of migraines. Aspartame which is one of the most popular artificial sweeteners is 200 times sweeter than natural sugar and is a common trigger for migraines. 

6. Yeast 

Foods that contain yeast such as donuts, cakes, and certain bread contain high amounts of tyramine, a natural compound found in foods. Tyramine-rich foods are known to significantly trigger headaches and migraines. 

7. Cured meats 

Bacon, pepperoni, and deli meats are all cured meats. Cured meats contain preservatives called nitrites which release nitric oxide into your blood and dilate blood vessels in your brain. The nitric oxide that is released into your blood has been shown to cause and trigger headaches. 

8. Nuts and certain seeds 

There are high levels of tyramine in almonds, peanuts, and other nuts and seeds which contribute to headaches. These salty snacks are also known for dehydration which is one of the most common reasons people experience headaches. 

9. Aged cheese

Blue cheese, cheddar, feta, and mozzarella are all considered to be aged cheeses. Foods that are aged cause the proteins in the food to break down and create tyramine, which is a headache trigger. Therefore, the longer the cheese has been aged, the more tyramine it contains. 

10. Pickled and fermented foods 

Pickled foods such as pickles, kimchi, kombucha, or pickled okra all contain high levels of tyramine. Like aged cheese, pickled and fermented foods have also been aged therefore containing high amounts of tyramine which triggers headaches. 

Tip: If you find that you are suffering from frequent or chronic headaches, try tracking your headache or migraine with a journal to learn and have a better understanding of what is causing or triggering your headaches. Generally, migraines will start within 12-24 hours after consumption of the trigger food so try to narrow it down from the food that you ate the day before. 

An important reminder: Trusted Medical does not promote “fear-based nutrition,” i.e. these foods could also have health benefits that may outweigh the risk of a headache. Therefore, if you feel that your diet may be the cause of your headaches, we always recommend you consult a Registered Dietitian and/or a physician before making any changes in your diet.

How Can Trusted ER Help You?

Being aware of the foods you eat and their ingredients can help you better understand how to treat your headaches

If your headache or migraine is more severe than an OTC medication like Tylenol or Ibuprofen can manage, be sure to seek emergency care at one of our Trusted ER locations near you. At Trusted Medical, we are here for you and ready to treat any illness or injury. 

We have 8 locations where we provide the best-in-class healthcare to patients in the most comfortable environment with exceptional care. Our ER offers limited wait times, as each of our patients is roomed and seen by our clinical team within a few minutes, and we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Trusted ER is “Doing the right thing. Every patient. Every time.” 

Categories
Nutrition

9 Tips to Maintain Your Weight

Maintaining your weight is the hardest part of any health plan. Although most people do well in the first few months of a new diet, many find themselves struggling to maintain their weight year-round.

To maintain a healthy weight, eating healthy foods is key. The foods and drinks that you choose to consume are vital to your health. Are you ready to make permanent changes in your lifestyle and move toward a healthier weight?

Here Are 9 Tips to Get You Started:

1. Start with a plan for lifelong health. Focus on goals that make life-long nutrition your new normal. Stay away from fad diets as fad diets leave you with plans that are not sustainable.

2. Set healthy, realistic goals. Most people achieve more success when they set realistic goals, such as SMART goals. It is possible to set a long-term goal and be successful, but it’s important to set goals that contain a step-by-step process on how to get there. Start with one or two small changes at a time. Track your progress by keeping a food and activity log. These types of goals may take more time to see results initially, but become lasting changes that help maintain weight long term.

3. Get a personalized eating plan or have a health professional help you plan what foods to eat and how to cut calories to promote weight loss.  You can start with www.choosemyplate.gov or work with a registered dietitian or healthcare provider to start a new plan.

4. Eat regularly scheduled meals, do not skip meals, and plan your meals ahead of time. Whether you’re eating at home, packing a lunch, or eating out, an overall eating plan for the day will help keep you on track. Eating regularly helps reduce cravings, overeating, and the overwhelming feeling of hunger.

5. Balance your plate with various food groups. Half of your plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables (the lowest calorie options are non-starchy vegetables,) about one-fourth with lean meat, poultry, or fish, and one-fourth with grains. To round out your meal, add a balanced dairy in moderation. Greek yogurt, low-fat milk, or cheese are great options.

6. Start your meal with low-calorie foods like fruits, lean meat, non-starchy vegetables, and salads. These foods are packed with nutrients your body needs and will reduce your desire to overeat.

7. Make eating an event. Enjoy your meal and focus on eating. Pick one place to sit down and eat, either at home or work. Smaller plates help reduce portion sizes.

8. Make yourself go back for second helpings. Do not start with large portions. Start with smaller portions and go back to make eating a mindful exercise.

9. Mindfulness is key. Your plan should not make you feel horrible, punished, or overwhelmed. If it is, it’s time to choose a new plan that is more manageable.

For more healthy eating tips or dietary advice, consult with a registered dietitian or a healthcare professional. Be sure to check out our blog for more healthy lifestyle content.

Be well. Eat well.

Sarah Wilcox MS RD LD

Categories
Nutrition

Low-Iodine Diet: Here Are The Foods You Should Avoid

A low-iodine diet is a diet with less than 50 micrograms of iodine per day. It is generally for patients who are receiving radioactive iodine treatment for thyroid disease or cancer. In preparation for your treatment, your doctor will have you follow a low-iodine diet.

A low-iodine diet should be short-term, usually 1-2 weeks prior to you receiving your treatment, and works to make sure that the therapy is effective. Once the radioactive iodine therapy is complete, most people stop following the diet.

When you are on a low-iodine diet, there are certain foods that you should avoid as some of the foods increase your absorption of iodine or contains iodine.

Here are a list of supplements and foods that you should avoid:

Supplements

Supplements containing iodine (often hair supplements or women’s supplements), ingredients may say seaweed, iodine, iodate, sodium iodide, potassium iodide.  Supplements include bars, drinks, and multivitamins or pills meant to supplement the intake of actual foods.

Foods

  • Seaweed (kelp, nori, kombu, wakame)
  • Fish
  • Egg yolk or whole egg
  • Dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream made from milk or containing high iodine ingredients)
  • Commercially prepared bread or pasta that lists ingredients such as iodate, potassium iodide, potassium iodate, or large amounts of iodized salts.
  • Iodized salt
  • Canned foods with added salt
  • Sushi
  • Liver
  • Shellfish
  • Pasta made in salted water or with the above-listed ingredients
  • Boxed cereals or instant oats
  • Fast foods
  • Frozen meals
  • Chips and crackers with iodized salt or added iodine ingredients listed above. If ingredients say “salt” or “sodium chloride” it may be beneficial to avoid.

Fresh fruits and vegetables

Iodine Reduction Tips

  • Substitute seafood for chicken or beef in recipes
  • Increase fruits and vegetables (these are typically a low source of iodine unless they have added iodine ingredients). Fresh fruits and vegetables are the best, but buy frozen without added seasoning second.
  • Meat is okay but avoid jerky. Meat like chicken or beef can be a good choice in moderation. Meat has small amounts of iodine naturally so limit yourself to 3-ounce portions, 3 times a day.
  • Egg whites can help get extra protein and nutrients.
  • Oatmeal is great if it is not instant
  • Salt-free crackers and unsalted rice cakes
  • Unsalted nuts
  • Almond milk and cashew milk but be sure to read labels first. You can also try yogurt made from almond or cashew milk.
  • Baked goods made at home with egg whites and non-iodized salt that are dairy-free
  • Oils
  • Coffee or tea
  • Water
  • Fruit juices or smoothies
  • All fresh or dried herbs not containing salt, sodium chloride, iodine ingredients, or potassium chloride

If you have more questions about the foods that you should avoid eating while on your low-iodine diet, consult with a registered dietitian or any other health professional. Be sure to check out our blog, for more healthy lifestyle content.

Be Well. Eat Well.

Sarah Wilcox MS RS LD

Categories
Nutrition

Why Eating Berries Is a Berry Good Idea

Guess what? It’s berry season! If you’re looking for healthy and nutritious food, eating berries is a berry good idea.

Blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are all considered summer berries. Eating fruits and vegetables that are in season can increase the bioavailability of nutrients, promote better shelf life, and improve the overall flavor of the food item.

Berries are packed with amazing nutrients and fiber. They are low-fat, low-calorie, and gluten-free. Berries are the most nutrient-dense when fresh, but can be stored in the freezer to prolong nutrient density.

For the best shelf life, wash your berries right before eating. Pre-washing them causes the texture of the berry to get soggy and spoil more quickly.

DID YOU KNOW: Three of the four “berries” below are not botanically considered berries because their seeds are on the outside. The word “berry” is also a culinary term. Instead, they are considered fruits. Can you figure out which one is a true berry?

BERRYBLUEBERRYBLACKBERRYSTRAWBERRYRASPBERRY
PEAK SEASONMid-June to AugustJune- SeptemberMay-AugustMid-summer
KEY NUTRIENTS (micronutrients in high concentration)Antioxidants Vitamin C B-vitamins Vitamin K ManganeseVitamin A
Calcium Potassium Magnesium Vitamin C
Antioxidants B-group vitamins Carotenoids Potassium Vitamin CVitamin C Manganese Vitamin K Vitamin E B vitamins  

For more healthy food ideas or dietary advice, consult with a registered dietitian or healthcare provider. Be sure to check out our blog for more healthy lifestyle content.

Be well. Eat well.

Sarah Wilcox MS RD LD

Categories
Nutrition

Why It Is So Important to Stay Hydrated

Hydration is one of the most important aspects of your overall health and wellbeing. It is vital to drink fluids and stay hydrated because your body depends on fluids, especially water, to survive. From those suffering from illness to thriving athletes and pregnant women, it is important to drink the appropriate amount of fluid for your specific needs. By drinking water and other fluids every day, you can minimize dehydration. Adequate hydration varies among individuals. *

USDA recommendations are based on age, sex, and health status. Most people can check if they’re staying hydrated daily by checking their urine color, the amount of sweat, or by their frequency of urination.

 Newborns to infant (through formula or breastmilk)Toddlers4-8 years9-13 yr old boys9-13 yr old girlsTeen boys to young menTeen girls to young women
USDA Hydration guide0.7-0.8 liter (~3-3.5 cups)1.3 liter (~5.5 cups)1.7 liter (~7.25 cups)2.4 liters (~10 cups)2.1 liters (~9 cups)2.7 liters (~11.5 cups)2.3 liters (~9.75 cups)
 WomenPregnant WomenLactating WomenMen
USDA Hydration Guide2.7 liters (~11.5 cups)3 liters (~12.75 cups)3.8 liters (15-16 cups)2.7 liters-3 liters (~11.5-12.75 cups)

For more tips on what you can do to stay hydrated, consult with a registered dietitian or any other health professional. Be sure to check out our blog, for more healthy lifestyle content.

Be Well. Stay Hydrated.

Sarah Wilcox MS RD LD

*Always consult a doctor or dietitian if you have any conditions that may affect your hydration needs, such as an increase in exercise, pregnancy, or chronic or acute illness.

Categories
Nutrition

16 Healthy Snacks to Try Today

To snack or not to snack, that is the question.

If you’re fighting hunger between meals or after an intense workout, a healthy snack is a food option that provides nutrition and is high in a combination of nutrients. When choosing a healthy snack, choose snacks that are a combination of macronutrients, such as healthy fats, lean proteins, and natural carbohydrates.

An appropriate calorie amount for healthy snacks is between 100-200 calories per serving. High-fiber snacks provide a range of health benefits as they can help you feel full and help to reduce your appetite for your next meal. In addition, snacks with 10 grams of sugar or less can satisfy your sweet tooth without leading to a sugar-filled crash. If you are looking for some snack suggestions, here are some healthy snack ideas to consider:

  1. Steamed Edamame: 189 calories, 15g carbs, 8 g fat, 17g protein (1 cup)


  2. Cheese and Fruit Kabob: 180 calories, 16g carbs, 9g fat, 8g protein (1 skewer)
  3. Banana Chips and Nut Butter: 210 calories, 16 g fat, 13 carbs, 6g protein (10 banana chips and 2 Tb)
  4. Fruit and Cottage Cheese or Greek Yogurt: 185-200 calories, 33g carbs, 9g fat, 16g protein (1 cup- 5 fresh berries)
  5. Veggies with Hummus: 150 calories, 19g carbs, 7g fat, 4g protein (1 cup)


  6. Cucumber, Pesto, and Turkey Roll-ups: 61g calories, 4g carbs, >3g fat, 4.8g protein (per roll-up)
  7. Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad: 195 calories,16g carbs, 2g fat, 28g protein (1/4 cup)
  8. Jerky: 50-150 calories, 2g carbs, 30g protein (10 slices)
  9. Pickles: 0-7 calories, 1g carbs, 0.2g protein, less than 0.1 g fat (1.3 oz)


  10. Olives: 115-145 calories, 6.3g carbs, 0.8g protein, 10.7g fat (10 olives)
  11. Roasted Chickpeas: 161.3 calories, 19.3g carbs, 4.2g protein, 7.7g fat. (3 ounce)
  12. Frozen yogurt: 114 calories, 17g carbs, 2.9g protein, 4g fat (1/2 cup)
  13. Frozen Grapes/ or Blueberries: 79 calories, 18.9g carbs, 0.7g protein, 1g fat (1 cup) 


  14. Healthy Smoothie Bowl: 214 calories, 47.5 carbs, 2.8g protein, 2.5g protein (1.5 cup)
  15. Granola: 140 calories, 14g carbs (4g sugar), 3g protein (1/4 cups)
  16. Trail-mix: 131 calories, 13 g carbs, 3.9 g protein (1 ounce)

For more snack ideas or dietary advice, consult with a registered dietitian or any other health professional. Be sure to check out our blog for more healthy lifestyle content.

Be Well. Snack Healthy.

Sarah Wilcox MS RD LD

Categories
Nutrition

5 Ways To Have Less Sugar In Your Diet

Cutting back on sugary drinks can improve your health, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to do. Every day, we generally consume or eat something that contains added sugar making it a challenge to reduce the amount of sugar we’re taking in.

Did you know that sugary drinks are the leading source of added sugar in our diet? According to the CDC, frequently drinking sugary drinks can lead to weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney diseases, tooth decay and cavities, gout, and non-alcoholic liver disease. Sugary drinks can increase your risk of health problems overall therefore it’s important to limit the number of sugary drinks in your diet.

Pouring a refreshing sugary soft drink from a can into a glass

So, how can you switch out those sugary drinks? Our registered dietitian nutritionist, Sarah Wilcox, MS, RD, LD, shares 5 fun ways to reduce sugary drinks in your diet to help you maintain a healthy weight and have a healthy diet:

1.    Switch out fruit juices with infused waters:

Here are a few ideas:

  • Cucumber slices can make water taste fresh.
  • Lemon, limes, and oranges slices make for a refreshing citrus flavor.
  • Berries break down in the water, so an infuser works nicely to reduce the number of berry pieces that make it into your water while still allowing the flavor of the berry to shine through.
  • If you do not want to purchase an infuser you can add fruit to water and then strain the water into another container to remove the fruit pieces or drink it with the fruit in it.
  • Try adding fresh herbs to your water to add new flavors to water. Often these are best if mulled (pressed and lightly crushed, usually using a twisting and pressing motion in a bowl with a spoon or a drink muddle).
  • There are lots of flavors that you can try and experiment with, some popular ones include watermelon or strawberry with fresh mint, grapefruit with fresh rosemary, or strawberry, lemon with fresh basil.

2.    Limit sports drinks after exercise:

  • If you need additional electrolytes, you can get them by consuming food.
  • After exercising or working out, eat some snacks, fresh fruits, or vegetables.
  • Snack on seeds: Chia seeds, flax seeds, and pumpkin seeds are high in electrolytes and can be added to meals throughout the day with little calorie addition.
  • HYDRATE WITH WATER. The best way to prevent dehydration is by consuming enough water.

3.    If you have a hard time reducing sugary drinks:

  • Start small.
  • Try watering down your sugary drinks, mixing sweet and unsweet tea, or water down the juice with water.
  • Increase your fruit intake to provide alternate ways of consuming a healthy sweet.
  • Cut back to 8 ounces of juice a day. (Daily recommendation is 8 ounces or less for most people)
  • Cut milk down to two to three 8 ounce cups per day.

4.    Cut down of fancy coffees or mixed drinks:

  • Replace sugary coffee drinks with black coffee, or coffee with a small amount of creamer. Sugar-free flavors or low-sugar sweeteners can also help reduce sugar.
  • Infuse hot tea with fruits, cinnamon, or other herbs as listed above.

5.    Drink More Water

  • Drinking water can help reduce your sugar intake and maintain healthy eating habits. It can lower blood sugar levels by reducing the amount of sugar in your bloodstream.
  • Make sure you are drinking enough water in the day, eleven to fifteen 8 ounce cups are recommended per day.

Sarah Wilcox MS RD LD  

Categories
Health Nutrition

Changing Your Eating Habits: The Right Way

It’s a new year, which means out with the old and in with the new. This includes unhealthy eating habits we’ve struggled to break throughout the year. For many, the new year signals a fresh start and the chance to make a change. So, what better way to start the new year than by changing your eating habits?

When trying to create a healthy eating routine, several things can make the commitment to eating better difficult. Eating habits develop over a lifetime and many things play a role in why we eat what we eat. From culture to upbringing, to time management and social environment, trying to change these behaviors overnight is nearly impossible. 

Instead, set healthy goals and focus on healthy outcomes. Remember, if your goal makes you hate what you eat, belittle yourself, feel shameful, guilty, or lose joy in the food you’re eating, you will not be successful in your efforts. 

Healthy eating concept with fresh vegetables and salad bowls on kitchen stone worktop.

Trusted Registered Dietitian, Sarah Wilcox, has some helpful tips to help you set healthy goals and change your eating habits the right way: 

7 items to remember to help you make healthy goals:

  1. The purpose of the scale 

When you’re on the scale, staring at that number, remember this: The scale can only see the relative mass or amount of matter contained in a body in a numerical form. It cannot tell you if you are healthy, fit, beautiful, handsome, worthy of praise, or meeting your goals. Although it can be tempting to base your progress on your weight, your goals don’t always need to center around weight loss. Changing your eating habits happens progressively and can have a variety of results. 

  1. Start with SMART goals 

One of the primary reasons people are not successful in changing their eating habits is because they make goals that are too broad or too strict. When it comes to making healthy aspirations, start with SMART goals. In 1968, Psychologist Dr. Edwin Locke created a way to set goals that produce ideal performance outcomes. He called his goal-setting strategy SMART. 

Specific – Make sure there is no room for confusion. Do not say “I want to lose weight.” Say “I want to lose 5 pounds by the end of the month.” 

Measurable – Make sure there is a simple way to track your progress. You can use a journal or download an nutrition / calorie counting app to help you keep track of the wins.

Attainable – Challenge yourself but do not set goals that cannot be attained, such as, trying to change everything at once, several goals at a time, or an unrealistic goal like, “I want to lose 20 pounds in a week.” 

Realistic – Make sure your goals are within reach and something to which you can make a commitment. For example, if you never eat salad, don’t try to switch to an all-salad diet in your first few weeks or even months of changing your eating habits.

Time-bound – Give yourself a time limit or deadline to meet the goal. Circle that date on the calendar and try to stick to it!

  1. Focus on What Really Matters.

Obsession with food, weight, a number, a diet plan, or weight loss goals does not lead to a successful outcome. Commitment to realistic goals that don’t make you feel deprived, is one way to fight obsession with strict guidelines and rules. Deprivation most often leads to overconsumption later on and makes it all the more challenging to change your eating habits.

  1. Practice self-compassion

You are not defined by a number or another person’s idea of what healthy looks like. An easy way to do this is to think of a compassionate person you know, a family member or friend who is kind to you. Then imagine how that person’s voice sounds, the way he or she responds to you, and how their response makes you feel. 

Think of how their words are positive towards your progress. When you come to a point of difficulty in a healthy habit goal, remember to not use verbiage they would not use toward you. Practice self-encouragement and calm reassurance as if that person is talking to you. 

  1. Emotional foods 

Comfort foods and emotional eating are tied to trying to find an escape from negative emotions. Emotional eating typically leads to more negative outcomes long-term. If you want a way to escape negative internal emotions, it’s important to remember you will likely not find it in an external source. 

  1. Striving for perfection 

Perfect does not exist in the world of healthy eating. “Eating clean” is a broad term and its meaning can change depending on who says it. Keep in mind goals change day to day, week to week, and as life changes. Think about your daily activities. Some days you are sitting on a couch binge-watching your favorite streaming service, and other days you are playing a sport or running errands. Therefore, you cannot exactly pinpoint your daily activities because life happens, and things will constantly change your plan. However, you can strive for a few basics: 

  1. Increase your fruit and vegetable consumption
  2. Be active, even if that means going on a 15 minute walk at any point during the day.
  3. Change your plan based on your daily needs. If you’re less active, you need fewer calories.
  4. Get support. Join a group or a phone a friend, but don’t try to do it alone. Big life-changing goals always need a support system. Find a family member, friend, or schedule a consultation with a registered dietitian you can count on to help you reach your goals.

The most important reminder: You can do this! Many people before you and many people after you will successfully change their eating habits toward a healthier lifestyle, and you can too. 

Good luck on your new healthy eating journey!

Categories
Nutrition Wellness

Food Insecurity and Hunger: Trusted Medical Food Drive and “Little Food Pantry” Program

In 2018, an estimated 1 in 9 Americans were food insecure, equating to over 37 million Americans, including more than 11 million children. At Trusted Medical, there has been an increased effort to meet the needs of the communities we serve. We have called upon our amazing team in collaboration with “Little Free Pantry” to provide innovative solutions that help fight hunger and get food to community members who are vulnerable during this new and challenging time.

Trusted ER has installed a “Little Food Pantry” at several locations in order to help neighbors in need.

Many households have seen a change in access to food, a reduction in income or have new obstacles of feeding family members. While most people are spending more time at home; many businesses have had to make the highly impactful and hard choice to close their doors. In light of this some people are finding themselves unable to provide for their families while many others are limited to sparse inventory at their local grocery stores. Although many people have an income that is considered to be below poverty level, there is a vast number of people who do not qualify for food assistance programs. Even one “off” month can take a household from stable to unstable as far as food security goes.

city man person people
Food insecurity can affect those who we least expect.

Helping Fight Hunger

Trusted has partnered with “Little Free Pantry” to provide a free resource for the community to fill emerging gaps in food security. Trusted has installed one little free pantry at our Coppell location and one at our Mansfield location, for which we are collecting non-perishable food donations until November 20th, 2020. These pantries are located in a discrete, yet well lit, location on the outside of the facilities and are meant to serve our community in a way that promotes both the giving and receiving of assistance. The pantries are stocked with non-perishable food items, toiletries, and hygiene items. Our motto for these pantries is “take what you need and leave what you don’t.”

Our Little Food Pantry locations are stocked with non-perishable food items, toiletries, and hygiene items.

Trusted Medical Centers has always been committed to serving our communities and its members in any way we can. We are so proud of the communities we serve and want to give back in a way that reaches far beyond food assistance. We hope that these new resources provide added peace of mind to our patients and neighbors in a time of uncertainty.

Sarah Wilcox Registered Dietician Trusted Medical
Sarah Wilcox
MS RD LD,
Director of Food and Clinical Nutrition Services
Trusted Medical