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  • Amber Williams

Better Nutrition: The Foundational New Year’s Resolution

New year. New goals. While your goals may be to manage your time better, spend more time with family, or improve your skill in an area of interest, it is important to prioritize your health and nutrition in order to accomplish any of these goals.

When flying, pilots caution us that in the event of an emergency we should put on our own oxygen mask first before helping others. As your nutrition pilot, I advise you to first incorporate healthy eating and an exercise routine into your list of goals. Your health is the foundation to accomplishing your desired hopes and dreams, and the food you eat is the binding ingredient holding that foundation together.

Invest in your health so that you can add quality to your life and to the lives of the people you love and care for.  Here are some tips to get you started.

Reach out to a registered dietitian nutritionist to help you make a personalized plan. This plan will help you to be successful in meeting your health and nutrition goals. Registered dietitian nutritionists are medical professionals who are recognized as food and nutrition experts. They have completed a four-to-eight-year degree program from an accredited university or college, have completed supervised practice requirements and have passed a national exam to be a provider for medical nutrition therapy and nutrition education.

Add more vegetables to your diet.  Many people do well with eating fruit because it is usually sweet. However, it is important to add more vegetables as well. Adding vegetables to your diet helps provide essential vitamins and minerals which are necessary for giving you energy every day. Be creative! Add vegetables to your fruit smoothies or try new recipes from the Detroit Area Agency on Aging Recipe Card Series!

Make sure you are getting enough protein. Talk to your doctor or registered dietitian nutritionist about your specific protein needs.  Protein is essential for maintaining strong and healthy muscles.  Ways to increase your protein intake include adding lean meats like chicken or beef; fish, like salmon or tuna; low fat dairy, like yogurt or cheese; nuts and seeds, like almonds and sunflower seeds; and beans, like pinto and black beans.   

Increase your activity to at least 150 minutes of activity per week.  Physical activity helps to strengthen muscles, like your heart, and can help to improve your mood. Join an exercise, dance class or walking club at a community center or a church.

Get an accountability partner to help encourage you to stay on track. Your accountability partner can be your spouse, a friend and even your registered dietitian nutritionist! Studies have shown that when you have someone to be accountable to, it helps you to reach your goals.

At the Detroit Area Agency on Aging, we have many resources to help you get plugged in to programs that will help you learn more about nutrition and health.  Reach out to us to learn more at 313.446.4444.

Amber C. Williams MSA, RDN, is a registered dietitian nutritionist and the Health and Wellness Educator at the Detroit Area Agency on Aging.

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