Staying Healthy in the New Year

Starting a podcast was my pandemic project! Below is a transcript from a recent episode with Stacy Kennedy. Feel free to read or listen in the player below.

Monica Williams 0:00
Let’s welcome Stacy Kennedy. He

Stacy Kennedy 0:02
Hi, Monica, thank you for that warm welcome. It’s really great to be here with you and your audience today.

Monica Williams 0:08
Yes. And so you are in Boston during this time still? Yes,

Stacy Kennedy 0:13
yes, yeah, we live just outside the city in the suburbs. So it’s a little calmer, where we are then then in the heart of the city, but it’s cold. And we’re dealing with all the things you were just describing.

Monica Williams 0:25
Yes. And, you know, I have known Stacy for several years, I hired her as my own personal nutritionist many years ago, when I was pursuing information on my own house. And we work virtually you’re one of the first people that I worked with virtually. And a lot of musicians have just figured this out, like right now, like, Oh, we can do this virtually. So you’ve been doing this? How long? Have you been working virtually?

Stacy Kennedy 0:49
Actually, for a really long time? Like, if I think about it, I would say I mean, I guess as long as that existed, I was sort of hacking together my own way of doing it before we had all the technology we have now. So probably a good eight years or so. Um, I would say if I had to guess. And nutritionists and many others are in the same boat, right? We’re all learning how to transfer virtually. But I’ve always loved it. Because you know, you live on the west coast. I live on the East Coast, there were just so many people that I wanted to be able to work with. And it just,

Monica Williams 1:20
yes. So musicians, we had to figure this out kind of on the fly very quickly. Oh my gosh, that day of like March 12, or 13th, for many of us was like, Oh, my gosh, what do we do? And so I think a little bit of working virtually, with you actually helped me I’m like, you know, I had a plan in place. Okay, so I’m gonna go, zoom, FaceTime, Skype, you know, whatever platform anyone can meet me on. And it’s it’s actually very effective, more effective than I thought for music. So, but you do that, I’ve stressed that because you can work with anyone, any country even Really? Yeah, that’s pretty cool.

Stacy Kennedy 1:56
Yeah, I actually had a client again, from a long time ago, we used to meet on Skype, she lives in Brazil. And she just reached out to me, I haven’t talked to her in probably three years. She’s just reached out to me with some health questions and nutrition goals. And I’m all set up to work with her. You know, we, we use Google translator at the same time. I mean, there’s just so much available to be able to, to connect with so many people, regardless of where you are.

Monica Williams 2:22
Mm hmm. And I bet you’re very helpful in teaching entrepreneurship, you know, helping out other nutritionist in the in the same boat, you know, kind of doing this. That’s, that’s pretty cool. So I thought we could start off, instead of just talking about the weight loss piece starting off about just health in general. And with this pandemic, are there things that we can be doing to either not get COVID, or flu or any of those things? Or if we do get it make our recovery just a little less likely to be such a severe case? Well, one, two,

Stacy Kennedy 3:01
absolutely, it’s, um, it’s just, you know, it’s so stressful overall. And I think, you know, part of the benefit of focusing on healthy lifestyle change is that you take some control back, and when we feel like our world is out of control, that stress can actually further compromise our immune system, stress is really not good for immunity. So in some sense, just feeling like you have a nutrition plan, whether it’s perfect, or even, you know, where you want it to be almost doesn’t matter. It’s the belief that you’re doing something, and you have some control will actually give you a bit of a boost. But of course, you know, following the CDC and government recommendations around COVID are really important, good hygiene, washing hands, wearing a mask, being mostly with people in your bubble. Those are all obviously the best ways to reduce your risk. From like a personal health standpoint, there are certainly things that you can also do so, you know, focusing on kind of a healthy, balanced diet, where we’re getting enough protein, we’re getting immune supportive nutrients from a variety of plant based foods that can be really helpful for some people, vitamin D, we’re seeing a lot of emerging science around vitamin D and COVID, vitamin D and immunity. And so, you know, one of the articles I read said basically, everyone should assume they’re deficient in vitamin D. And, you know, depending on how much sun exposure you have, can, you know sway that but in any case, you know, taking a supplement might be something that could be helpful, essentially across the board and you know, asking for blood tests and things like that if you know if you’re concerned or digging back into your blood desk and senior you can take it can help in other nutrients like zinc, magnesium, selenium, vitamin C, those are all nutrients that we know are important for immunity and are being looked at right now in the face of COVID.

Monica Williams 5:06
Right? And, you know, yes, I’ve been reading a lot about vitamin D, and I first heard it from you. And as you know, I took a blood test years ago and was deficient. And I live in San Francisco. So where there was sun and, and stuff, so let’s go with the vitamin D, can it? Does it matter the dosage? Or where you get it from? Does the quality matter? How could we make sure that this is absorbed so that we can get benefits from this? is there is there tricks to that?

Stacy Kennedy 5:31
Yeah, that’s a great question. So as far as the amount it is kind of personal. So it could range anywhere from 1000 international units to 4000 a day, and most of the data looking at COVID, right now is suggesting those sort of higher end of that, which is very safe. So for most people taking, you know, 234 1000 I use the day is probably the right dose and is safe. Of course, you know, as a dietitian, it’s important to let people know that if you know, if you have a health issue, if you take medications, you know, talk to your doctor, talk to your pharmacist, you know, before really starting a new supplement program. But But those levels so for a lot of people that 4000 especially for someone you know how you mentioned, Monica, you had a low blood test in the past, that’s probably the right amount I’m taking I had a low blood test number I live in Boston area, you know, in the past myself, so I’m taking 4000 a day and I recently went to the doctor and my level had come up, which is great, but it by no means was excessive or too high. So I was good to get kind of get that feedback. As far as like maximizing absorption, it’s nice that really most brands have vitamin d3 are going to work. It’s really about you taking it on a consistent basis, taking it every single day. And the absorption might be a little bit better if you take it with food, because vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin. So having some, you know, avocado or olive oil or you know, cheese or whatever, that has some fats in the meal might help with the absorption a little bit. Okay,

Monica Williams 7:12
that’s a good, that’s a good thing to know. Because that’s important. And yeah, consistency. So getting a routine kind of in place is is helpful. What about the other things you mentioned, this mentioned the Selenium and the zinc, I mean to someone needs to go out and purchase all of those separately is there is there a multivitamin that someone can take that would cover all your bases?

Stacy Kennedy 7:32
Yeah, there are quite a few multivitamins, there’s even you know, you can imagine there’s a ton of like immunity focused products right now that have those nutrients. So you know, with those, you know, you want to be careful, more is not better, you don’t want to just go take like a whole bottle of zinc, you know, that would be toxic. So you know, if we do want to think about food first, vitamin D is harder, because we get most of it from the sun. But we think about like zinc, if you’re eating chicken or fish or sea, other kinds of shellfish and seafood or even a little bit of meat, you’re going to get in sync that way. Whole grains and nuts and seeds are good plant based sources for saying, and so many, like Brazil nuts is a good source. Also, seafood, again, is another good source of selenium. So, you know, looking to your diet is definitely helpful. Because the other part of all of this is protein, we need protein to make our immune cells they’re made out of protein. And so some of these foods I mentioned, you know, you’re gonna like multitask. If you have, you know, some fish with your dinner, then you’re probably getting some zinc and selenium, some protein, you know, maybe some omega threes kind of all wrapped into into one. But yeah, if you’re not really eating those foods on a consistent basis, or you’re worried, a really good multivitamin would cover you as long as it has minerals in it for some of those items, too.

Monica Williams 8:57
So it goes back to what you said earlier, which is a variety of plant based high quality fruit, you know, vegetables, and you kind of cover your basis. That makes sense, that makes sense. So I’m imagining that a lot of the things that you’re mentioning for immune also would help us musicians in the stressful auditioning touring and, you know, recording processes of not getting sick. I mean, I know that as a musician, that’s my biggest worry, like I get on a plane and like, it would be awful if I got sick right now because I just can’t handle it, which is the stress element of it. But I’m imagining all of those things would be helpful for that as well. Right? Absolutely. Yes.

Stacy Kennedy 9:39
I mean, the stress part is huge. So I think this is where you know, there’s like when you look at nutrition information online, it can be really confusing and very contradictory. So you know, whole grains for example. So whether you’re having oatmeal, or you’re having Kima or brown rice, these are really good sources of a lot of these nutrients. Including like B vitamins, which we know help to manage our stress. Magnesium is another one for immunity and stress management and metabolism. So when you start reading and feeling like carbs are the enemy, you’re actually sometimes might be undermining some of some of your own health goals. So and, you know, I feel like I always have to kind of like in defense of carbs, you know, try to explain that, you know, it’s, it’s not so black and white. So you know, you want to have a balance, but we don’t want to eliminate all the carbs from our diet, because we’re actually going to be causing more stress, frankly, a lot of the time.

Monica Williams 10:43
Mm hmm. Interesting. Yeah, I know that the low carb keto thing is very, you know, is a is a popular way to achieve that. But that’s a good defensive carbs. I like that idea. So when I was in college, it is something that I always think of when I think about auditions and and maximizing your performance there was there was these things called juries, which was like you had, everyone performs their same big exam, you know, in the same time, whenever this happens, the cafeteria would run out of bananas, like you had to get to the cafeteria early to get a banana. And the theory was, is that that would make you less stressed and have a better audition. But did we? Were we all just like completely fooled, or is that an actual thing?

Stacy Kennedy 11:26
No, you were like ahead of your time, everyone. Congratulations. I love that. That’s really great. Yeah, so actually, I was gonna mention like electrolytes as another kind of topic. And that’s precisely why that banana was so helpful actually have a couple theories. So one would be electrolytes. So hydration is super important. Like we think of feeling nervous, your heart’s racing, you need some hydration, or you’re just jacking that up even more, especially if you’ve been like drinking a lot of coffee trying to wake yourself up. And so, hydration is really key. And having electrolytes helps you absorb the hydration better. So like potassium, which is an important electrolyte that we need for blood pressure management and for energy is in things like bananas, and it’s in cantaloupe and watermelon and avocado, and nuts. And like peanut butter and almond butter and butternut squash, sweet potatoes, there’s a lot of options, you don’t have to like drink, you know, a electrolyte beverage that’s, you know, fluorescent blue, you can banana. And that’s, that’s really great. And if you put a little peanut butter on it, actually, that’s going to be even better for managing stress because you get more micronutrients, and you get that protein to carry the energy from the banana longer. The other reason I think that banana would help has to do with gut health. So having a healthy gut has been shown to improve mood help with metabolism and stress and immunity, like 70 to 80% of our immune system is in our gut. And so the banana and potatoes, both of which get a bad rap, but type of starch called resistant starch, and it’s it’s sort of now they say, like prebiotic, so they’re just natural type of fiber in those foods that help to fuel the healthy bacteria that already live in your gut, and make them happy and healthy and strong. And so foods like a banana or oats, or like a potato, really can can help with that. So I’m all for that strategy. And without having to know why it just, you know, it worked for you all and I think that’s great.

Monica Williams 13:35
Yeah, I just had this vision as you were talking, I mean, it would be so there was a lot more than the banana when the bananas ran out, you know, you weren’t like, you know, completely screwed, there was other foods we could have gone to, I had this vision that, you know, they could create a board of like, especially like foods that supports you know, the stress, you know, that whatever that stressful time is foods that help you support you during that that would be really helpful, you have a visual of all the different types of foods that you could have for that, that’s pretty cool.

Stacy Kennedy 14:02
And there’s even beverages to think about too. So actually tea you know what I like making these fun pictures of like, you know, six foods to ease stress six foods for metabolism. So I’ve been kind of playing around with that. And you know, tea is something that actually can help. Green tea can help cam a meal has a phytonutrient like a plant based nutrient that actually has been shown to help reduce anxiety. So it’s not going to like put you to sleep or anything. But having like some tea in particular or like hibiscus is good for hormone balance. But that’s another option. Of course. Dark Chocolate is another good one too. And you know, so now your banana can have peanut butter and dark chocolate chips and you know, you’ve got the magnesium. So yeah, I think the stress list of like here’s, you know, five foods to pick that would help ease your stress can ease your stress because you don’t have to think about What to eat, because that can be really stressful when you’re trying to focus on your performance to have to worry about what to eat, right,

Monica Williams 15:07
and going wrapping around to what you were talking about when we’re talking about COVID, kind of the same thing applies when you’re taking care of yourself, you can take one of those pieces away less stress in that, you know, so you know, you have an action plan so that you’re not just waiting for that. So in terms of, you know, also practicing, taking care of your body, getting sleep, you know, all the things that you’re actually checking off all the boxes that can help support you. So,

Stacy Kennedy 15:32
absolutely. And I think the other thing, too, is just like the practical side, so frozen vegetables and fruits are just as healthy as fresh. In fact, they sometimes are higher nutrients. So you know, here, if I were to want to eat blueberries this time of year, in the winter, I’m absolutely getting frozen blueberries, they’re cheaper, they’re organic, and they’re higher in nutrients, if I were to get fresh blueberries, they’d be shipped from really far away. And so the nutrition is going to go down in that time that passes from harvest. So stocking your freezer with like frozen cauliflower, rice, or having frozen blueberries and you know, other, like shortcuts are actually a way of boosting the nutritional value. And you’re saving yourself time and effort and money and all these other factors that are, you know, obviously contributing to everybody’s stress right now, too.

Monica Williams 16:25
Yeah, you bring up a good point, because I had thought, you know, initially that doing, frozen was worse for you, because therefore, you know, you weren’t getting the fresh, fresh quality. So good point on that, as well. Um, so the other thing I wanted to talk to you about wrapping around to the New Year’s resolutions is this is the first week of January, New Year’s resolutions are on a lot of people’s minds. And I read that 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail. Any thoughts? And of course, health and weight loss are amongst the highest of that’s in the New Year’s resolutions. Why is it that there’s such a high failure rates with the concept of New Year’s resolutions? Any thoughts?

Stacy Kennedy 17:14
Yeah, I every year, this comes up, right. And I think this year, you know, in this new year, I would bet that health is above weight loss for a lot of people perhaps just simply because we’re also focused on keeping ourselves and our loved ones, you know, healthy. Like, yeah, big reason why these resolutions fail is just simply how we set them up, you know, we really go for it, we go way too far away from our usual routine. And so it’s going to be impossible to stick with. If you’re setting yourself up with a more targeted goal, something a little bit closer to what you’re already doing something that like steps you there, it can help. So, you know, I think it’s great to kind of, you know, shoot for the moon, and have like a very lofty resolution, but then be smart about how you go from here to there. So, you know, maybe you want to achieve that larger goal, by the end of the year, or in six months, and then set yourself up with what are the steps to get me there. I think that’s the part that’s missing, we have great ideas for resolutions that are important to us are meaningful, they’re going to be healthy, for the most part, but we don’t put as much time and effort into how are we actually going to make this happen? what’s realistic for me? And how do I kind of phase myself step by step into this resolution. And that’s really where, you know, between accountability and making shorter goals that you can hit and achieve. I think that’s really where the coaching and that’s where a lot of the work that I do really comes in, is around the implementation of it all. Because that statistic is true,

Monica Williams 19:04
right? And maybe it’s like, I mean, because I’ve, I’ve wanted back when I used to go to a gym, gyms were open, but you know, it would be like that, you know, January, February would be you know, very busy, couldn’t get machines, and then March would kind of trickle off. And then you’d be back to normal by April, you know, that kind of that kind of thing. So maybe it’s over ambition, like, you know, if you’re going to say like, I’m going to work out every single day, I’m going to go to the gym every single day, like maybe not realistic to your lifestyle of those changes, maybe something like that. Yeah, we

Stacy Kennedy 19:35
want our goal. You know, we want them to be smart, they have to be specific, they have to be measurable, achievable, realistic, and you know, meaningful. So, you know, maybe pretending we could go to a gym and we would want to like you know, you would look at your schedule and say, okay, there’s a class every Tuesday and Thursday at 5pm and I can get there and that’s, that’s going to be my goal is to show them twice a week. Or maybe we make it like Every morning, right after I brush my teeth, I’m going to do a series of 10 simple exercises I can do at home. And I am going to do that every single day. And I’m not going to miss a day. And it’s going to be, you know, 10 minutes, and it’s going to be quick. But I know I can do it. So I think it’s really boiling, boiling it down from like a concept, you know, I’m going to work out more, that’s too vague. It’s a great idea. But like, what does that really mean? What does that look like, you know, I’m going to walk my dog an extra five minutes, the two times a day I walk my dog, and that’s going to add up and have benefit over time. So it’s really like, crafting it to be very particular to where you’re at in this moment. Rather than making it sort of a general statement, right.

Monica Williams 20:49
So finding the sweet spot, you don’t want to go like, completely, because I’ve done this before, I’m going to work out two hours a day and e 1200 calories, and they’re only going to be this particular thing. So, but not completely vague. So finding that sweet spot and work with people finding that sweet spot of that.

Stacy Kennedy 21:07
Yeah, and then be able to so you know, and then be a have a way of measuring it, you know, and and if it’s not working, it’s not because you’re not trying hard enough, or you don’t care about yourself enough, or, you know, you’re not good at it. It’s not working because it needs adjusting. It needs pivoting. It needs like another iteration. You know, it just it needs a little finessing. And so, you know, maybe the gym was too far away, maybe that class, I didn’t feel good doing it, my body hurts afterwards, like, there are so many ways to come up with another way of going about it. That it isn’t like, Oh, well, I should just stop. And I think that’s probably a big part of the challenge with resolutions to you know, we try something, and it may not work the first time, we may not be the right fit, we might have adapted a little maybe that Tuesday 5pm it just doesn’t work, I can’t get out of work in time. So let’s find another class, maybe I need to take the seven o’clock class or I need to do Wednesday, Friday. And you know, we just want to, like revisit it, it’s if it’s not working, it’s not you, it’s really about just redefining that that tactic a little bit towards your goal.

Monica Williams 22:19
I like that, yeah, the adjusting. It’s not just a one time. So you know, maybe the concept of like making this one big goal on January 1, you know, maybe that’s the problem with it, it needs to be kind of a year long, you know, every month, really a new year, you know, kind of modification to that goal. So I want to back at something you said about weight loss. So when I’m back back to a little guests to the health point, I think that you’re right that, at least for me, as I get older, it becomes more about the health aspect and less about the weight loss aspect of it. So when the CDC began their like their their comorbidity conditions, weight loss was overweight, being overweight, obese was a huge factor on that. So as someone that’s thinking about health and thinking about the number only as part of that health measurement, what would you say to them? I mean, does it does it matter? Let’s just say that I’m 300 pounds, and you know, I only lose 20 pounds, I’m still obese, I’m still going to have the same risk conditions. What What is your word of advice or thoughts to that situation?

Stacy Kennedy 23:28
Yeah, I think that’s actually a very important emerging topic, there’s more and more conversation that’s looking like deeper into the understanding of weight and weight loss and health. And so what I mean by that

water, sorry, you could.

So what I mean by that is that the the journey really matters. So the number on the scale really only scratches the surface, and frankly, is less relevant than how you go about losing weight. So from a number perspective, you know, from a health lens, losing five to 10%, of whatever your current weight is, if you are overweight, is enough to make a significant difference in your risk and lower your risk for diabetes. You know, for type two diabetes, for pre diabetes, for heart disease, and many other weight connected chronic illnesses.

Monica Williams 24:30
What if you already have those some of those conditions? So if you have diabetes, or you have a heart condition and you’re overweight on top of it, do and you lose some of that weight? Are you still lowering your risk factors?

Stacy Kennedy 24:43
Oh, yes, absolutely. You’re making a big difference in some of those. Longer term factors. That amount is enough to help reduce insulin resistance include improve like your body’s sensitivity to blood sugar, so kind of helping move that extra sugar out. Your blood into the cells for energy. So, it’s very surprising to people to learn that losing just some weight is enough to make a difference. Because the idea is that you’re sort of permanently keeping that weight off. Right? So it’s very exciting to read, you know, emails, and I get these, I get these crazy text, like, should know your audience, like, I get these text messages, I don’t know the number out of the blue that are like, do you want to lose 60 pounds in three weeks? No, I block, you know, you have to, like, mute those things and ignore them. Because it’s not healthy, it’s not effective. It’s not realistic, I so you know, if you have a health issue, just that five to 10%, weight loss really will translate into very significant, you know, differences in blood tests, it really makes a difference. The other part that’s really important is the journey. So, you know, like, trying to lose, you know, 10 pounds, 20 pounds, whatever, by eating more fruits and vegetables by walking every day by drinking more water by choosing, you know, to have less processed food by having less red meat, and more fish or plant based items, those foods are going to bring benefit independent of any change on the scale. So there’s been a lot of research showing that eating five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, regardless of weight loss is helpful from a health perspective. So from an inflammation perspective, from helping make your arteries more elastic, the physical activity and healthy eating works sometimes inside your body before you can see it on the scale. And you might notice changes to skin, or other visible differences that aren’t necessarily the number on the scale moving as fast as we would like it to.

Monica Williams 27:07
I think that’s such an important point. Because if you don’t, if you make these changes, and you don’t see that number, either move as much as you want it to or move at all, you can easily get into this thing that’s like, you know, well, it’s not working, let me go buy one of these things. That’s that’s 60 pounds and 20 days, whatever it is, I read an interesting statistic, it said that if every single person stopped buying any weight loss, cosmetic, any type of product that was for appearance, that the economy would collapse overnight. So that’s, it’s I don’t know that how much merit that is. But I mean, there’s so much of it, it’s like, you know, that goes with cosmetics that goes with makeup and the whole industry there, but that we are so much into that as a society that that could like, you know, collapse the economy. And that was like, wow, you know, that that’s, that’s pretty amazing that that’s such an IT that one factor would have such an impact globally in economy wise.

Stacy Kennedy 28:09
Absolutely. I mean, and think of the other side of that, though, what if we focused on beauty from the inside out, and we put all that money into healthy food and healthy, safe spaces in our community to be physically active, we were taking the same money and instead of buying, you know, fad, weight loss pills that are dangerous, and you know, so much skincare stuff, and we were buying fruits and vegetables and supporting farmers and local farms, and my goodness, like the whole planet would be healthier, we would be healthier, and probably even more beautiful and handsome. Because that healthy eating and that exercise really does come through in our in our skin by way of our gut.

Monica Williams 28:57
Yeah, it’s so big. Yeah, it’s so supporting local small, rather than big, you know, shipping and because you’ve kind of touched on this a little bit. But this is something I never thought about in the frozen versus fresh things. If you buy blueberries in the middle of winter, how much traveling time that that product needs to actually go through not only in terms of freshness, but you know, the in terms of pollution amount of you know, energy consumed in order to just get you to that space. That’s something I never thought about, like Oh, so you can make a small difference just by choosing what you not only for your own health but like for the economy and the farmers and that’s pretty cool.

Stacy Kennedy 29:41
Yeah, and for the environment. It’s interesting. I read one time that the average fruit or vegetable in the US travels 1500 miles from the farm to your plate and a lot further. I mean, if I like I said, if I try to go buy fresh strawberries right now they’re from California. So that’s more than 1500 miles from where I am right? You know, that’s the things that reduce nutrient levels and produce are things like heat, light, oxygen, and time. And so yeah, absolutely. But I mean, I think, I still think it’s like balancing it all out, like sometimes, sometimes local produce can be really expensive too. So I mean, I think there’s that other piece of it. So like, what is healthy is very contextual. So, you know, another aspect of COVID has been unemployment or underemployment. And if you’re self employed, you know, it’s, in some ways, there’s benefits, but the virtual stuff, but there’s challenges now you have to be good at marketing, and you have to like, hustle, and it’s stressful and not always able to happen. So, you know, there are a lot of ways to eat on a very tight budget, and be be healthy. But it’s also very wrong to make people believe that you have to go spend $300 at an expensive organic grocery store every week to be healthy you don’t, you can find inexpensive items that are going to support your health, and not everything has to be perfect. So all of your food dollars do not have to be organic. And you might want to try to think about the budget side of it when you’re planning your meals and thinking about health. Because there are a lot of ways to eat healthy on on a budget too. And it’s like, I just don’t want to miss that piece. And when everyone feeling like, you know, you have to have kale and celery juice, you know, and that’s it, like, you know, hey, if you want a potato, like that’s great, or, you know, go by like what’s on sale, maybe sometimes, you know, even the frozen is pricey, you know, maybe you’re even looking for canned. And you’re like rinsing the produce from a canned option to get the salt off. And that’s fine, it still counts. You know, when we look at data, people eating fruits and vegetables are gonna have healthier markers, whether they’re fresh, they’re frozen, they’re canned, they’re jarred. So you know, I do want to kind of put that out there, that we want to factor budget into. And, and that that’s important.

Monica Williams 32:17
That’s such a, that’s, I never thought of that. So if you’re going to food banks, you know, and you’re getting canned fruits and vegetables, just just rinsing it can actually increase the, or decrease the, you know, whatever they put on it to preserve it and

Stacy Kennedy 32:33
right, like extra sugar, extra salt, that’s going to come off when you rinse it, and that counts that for sure counts as a serving of fruits and vegetables. So you know, people shouldn’t feel like they’re not doing a good enough job. You know, whether you’re buying can produce with the grocery store, or you’re getting it you know, from a food pantry, you know, it’s like, don’t be too hard on yourself. I think that that’s really key too.

Mm hmm.

Monica Williams 33:00
That’s a really, that’s, that’s a really, that’s a really important piece, man, they should put this I think of all these signs, they should put this at the food bank to, you know, different ways to increase the nutrition value of what you’re receiving that would be, that’d be really helpful. Why don’t they do that? Maybe they do, maybe, maybe I’m speaking out of turn, maybe they do do that. But that’s great information.

Stacy Kennedy 33:22
Well, I don’t think on the other side of it, too, as someone who’s giving to a food bank, um, think about what you would want to receive, like, don’t just go buy like, canned, whatever, because that’s what you think people want at a food bank, everyone going to a food bank is the same as you. And you should think about what you would want to have. So like when my kids have been having, you know, recently at school, you know, or in the community requests for dropping off items for local food banks. If I’m at if I’m at Whole Foods, and I’m buying organic chicken broth for our meals, I get a second organic chicken broth, and send that to donate to I just tried to put myself in that same, you know, mindset. So I mean, if you’re able to give anything, that’s wonderful. But if you are able to give what you would buy for yourself, I think that’s kind of the way to go about it.

Monica Williams 34:15
Yeah, that’s a good point. And it’s not always a quality versus quantity thing because I think sometimes people think well you know, this organic chicken broth, I could buy five of the other little things. So sometimes quality is you know, worth thinking about so that you can receive something that’s you would eat. Same of that’s that’s pretty that’s pretty important thought to have. The other thing kind of doubling back a little bit but going back to the CDC guidelines, and let’s, let’s bring it back i think i think it was, you had mentioned this to me in the 70s didn’t they change that 25% BMI. So if you’re going by the BMI can what is like, Is it a sweet spot as well too can if you if you’re 20 Ah, you need to lose weight to get under 25 in order to have better health factors, what is your thoughts on that? Should we just go strictly by that? 25? Or I guess it’s 24? Point, whatever, I don’t remember exactly.

Stacy Kennedy 35:14
No, I mean, I think there’s a big effort to, like, throw that whole thing out, you know, because it’s hard. Like, it’s, it’s not that that straightforward, like, truthfully, it’s all relative to yourself, like, what is, you know, if we were to like travel back in time, or if you were to think of young people today, you know, if you’re, if I’m talking to, you know, a 22 year old who’s at a healthy weight, the best answer is try to keep your, you’re gonna have to work hard, every decade to keep yourself in a healthy weight. So the the data is really more about avoiding the weight gain, that comes naturally with aging, than it is about getting yourself to a different number. So it’s, it’s kind of trying to compare it to yourself more than go by those scales. So if somebody’s BMI is 30. Or let’s say let’s, you know, and even maybe an even easier way to think about if somebody’s BMI is like, let’s say, 35, you know, that’s above the healthy range. But that doesn’t mean that person is going to be healthy at a BMI of 25. what it would take to get there, or their, their body just may not be built to be that number 25, you know, maybe the change of going from 35, to 32, to 30, those incremental changes are going to give major benefits, and there really may not be a reason to keep going, it’s more about locking in the change that you’ve made, it’s arguably healthier to go from a BMI of 35 to 32. And stay there for the rest of your life than it is to go 30 520-830-3840 like that whole system of kind of, you know, up and down and back again, that’s probably less healthy than sustaining yourself through a healthy diet and exercise at a higher BMI, I would argue, the higher BMI with healthy behaviors, is probably healthier than a lower BMI with unhealthy behaviors. A low BMI can indicate somebody’s ill, or they’re using cigarettes to get their weight down or, you know, it’s less is not always better. Right?

Monica Williams 37:33
I think that’s so important. Because if those numbers can be, you know, almost shaming, if you go into that, if you’re thinking that if that is the only factor for your health, and I think it’s probably for the people that are on a weight loss journey, probably more common to go from 35, to 28, to 25, to, you know, to flopping all around there. And, and, of course, hindsight is always 2020. But, you know, if you had just kind of done small changes, found that sweet spot and just did a little bit lower, you would have probably been more healthy and absolutely out, it’s never too late, right? So someone who’s done that flip flopping, you can kind of get on a routine that makes it so that you have more stability.

Stacy Kennedy 38:15
at any age. I mean, they’ve shown that like 90 year olds can grow new muscle with strength training, I mean, there’s it is never too late. And especially from a health perspective, those benefits of reducing inflammation, improving immunity, improving gut health, those are going to help you at any time in your life. And so yeah, it’s absolutely, you know, really always a good time to add in some of those elements that are healthy.

Monica Williams 38:43
Right? Um, that’s those are all really good points. Okay. So now let’s talk about from the from the standpoint of what you do, you know, a nutritionist and a dietitian, why should someone invest in themselves with a nutritionist and just go with the school of Google? What are your thoughts to someone who is in because there’s so much information out there and we talked a little bit about this with them with Tony last weekend, who was a mental health counselor, same ideas is investment in yourself for a better mental wellness, why should someone invest in in hiring an expert, someone like you to help them with some of these goals that we’re talking about?

Stacy Kennedy 39:26
Yeah, it’s if it was, if it was easy enough to just read about it and do it, you know, our whole country will be like, super healthy, and we’d be really happy and you know, the everything you said about mental health, it’s all true. It’s, it is much harder than we realize and the conceptual part can be challenging. So, you know, it’s like the game two truths and a lie. There’s a lot of misinformation online. There’s a lot of flat out wrong information online from gurus from other providers who aren’t trained nutrition professionals, frankly. And so one is, it’s important to make sure you’ve found the right information that applies to you and your specific context. And that’s really hard and really stressful and frustrating if you’re trying to do that on your own. And you might not really find that information, how do you know the website you’re looking at is even reliable. So having a professional it would be like, if you had multiple sources of income, and assets and all kinds of stuff, and you thought, I’m just gonna do my taxes by myself like, you can, but it’s oftentimes much more helpful to hire professional, because they’re just gonna make it a more pleasant, more effective and easier experience. And with the help part, it’s especially true. So getting the right information is only the beginning. So that’s a big part of it. So really, kind of setting up that specialization of like, what do you need to focus on right now, that’s something that a trained professional like myself can help with. And then the real work is in working with you to help you be able to do it, and to help with the accountability. And it’s not just accountability, like I did it, I didn’t do it. It’s, you know, am I on track or not, it’s really like that understanding of what works and what doesn’t. And, and there are a lot of techniques, and tips and tricks that may not be readily apparent if you’re not trained in it. So it’s the implementation and the execution piece. There’s also an advocacy piece, I work with a lot of clients who have family members or friends telling them this that me other, their doctor might be saying something, their doctor may not be ready and willing to draw their vitamin D blood level. So, you know, I help the clients also kind of roleplay and formulate, how do you talk to everyone else in your life? Or how do you kind of get what you need, and having that type of help with languaging. And just that kind of trusted adviser can be really, really important too, and it is an investment, but you’re not necessarily tied to having to work with someone every week forever, there’s sort of an intensive period, a little bit of a step down, I typically see like another step down, and then it’s like, you just know, you can come back to me whenever you need me. But there’s like a process it could take honestly, like a year, really. But that investment is going to play out into a lot of ways that are really going to give you overturn, and just be much more effective and enjoyable.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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