Personalize Your Plate: National Nutrition Month 2021
| Posted On Mar 04, 2021 | By: Helen Mastro, MS, RD, CDE
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition and health. We all have different bodies, goals, backgrounds and tastes. Each one of us has our own individual food preferences, cultural traditions, and most importantly, “relationship” with food. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics promotes March as National Nutrition Month®, and this year’s theme, “Personalize Your Plate,” recognizes that good nutrition is best achieved in very personal and unique ways.
Not sure how to take the first step to better nutrition and health in a way that works for you? While I included a few general “Nutrition Ground Rules” at the end of this blog, our registered dietitians (nutritionists) at Atrius Health can help identify healthy eating habits and tailor a plan that is right for you.
Our nutritionists provide medical nutrition therapy to our patients for various diagnoses, but each nutritionist has specialty areas of interest. The following is a list of Atrius Health nutritionists with their specialties and practice locations. If you would like to meet with a nutritionist, patient referrals can be requested through your primary care provider or another Atrius Health clinician.
- Janine Clifford-Murphy, Harvard Vanguard Chestnut Hill/West Roxbury. She is a certified diabetes educator and specializes in digestive health, diabetes, eating disorders, weight management and family nutrition.
- Lisa F. Gormley, Harvard Vanguard Copley and Medford. Her specialties include digestive disorders, food intolerance, eating disorders, weight management, and pediatric nutrition.
- Haewook Han works in the nephrology department at Harvard Vanguard Cambridge, Chelmsford, Kenmore, Medford, and Quincy and only sees patients who are followed by a nephrologist.
- Kwai Lam, Dedham Medical Dedham and Norwood. She is a certified diabetes educator and specializes in weight management, diabetes and general nutrition.
- Catherine Lukas, Harvard Vanguard Chelmsford, Peabody and Beverly. She is a certified diabetes educator specializing in diabetes, weight management, and pediatrics.
- Elaine Lyons, Harvard Vanguard Wellesley and Burlington. Her specialties include weight management, general nutrition and pediatrics.
- Helen P. Mastro, Harvard Vanguard Somerville. She is a certified diabetes educator specializing in diabetes, heart disease and weight management. Helen is the lead nutritionist for the group.
- Sarah Mazerall, Harvard Vanguard Concord and Kenmore. Her specialties include eating disorders, weight management, and hypertension.
- Marlene O’Donnell, Harvard Vanguard Braintree and Kenmore. She is a certified diabetes educator specializing in diabetes, sports nutrition and weight management.
- Suzanne Russell-Curtis, Harvard Vanguard Quincy, Braintree and Plymouth. She is a certified diabetes educator specializing in diabetes, weight management and heart disease.
- Margie Ullmann-Weil, Harvard Vanguard Cambridge and Post Office Square. Her interests are food allergies, gastroenterology, celiac disease, and women’s nutritional needs.
Nutrition From the Ground Up
- Start with the basics. Eating right doesn’t have to be complicated. A healthy eating plan emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or fat-free dairy and includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans and nuts. A healthy eating plan is also low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt and added sugars.
- Make calories count by thinking nutrient-rich rather than “good” or “bad” foods. Most food choices should be packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients — and lower in calories. Be aware of portion sizes. Even low-calorie foods can add up when portions are larger than you need.
- Focus on variety by eating a variety of foods from all the food groups. Fruits and vegetables can be fresh, canned or frozen. Look for locally grown produce that’s in season. Vary protein choices with more fish, beans and peas. Include at least three servings of whole grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice or pasta every day.
- Make the most of family mealtime. Eating meals together provides the opportunity to help children develop a healthy attitude toward food. It also enables parents to serve as role models, introduce new foods and establish a regular meal schedule.
- Balancing physical activity and a healthful diet is your best recipe for managing weight and promoting overall health and fitness. Set a goal to be physically active at least 30 minutes every day.