Spotlighting health

By Lillian Bowe

PNT staff writer

lbowe@pntonline.com

March is National Nutrition month, which brings awareness of eating healthy and getting the right amount of exercise.

Nicole Olsen’s job as dietary technician at Roosevelt General Hospital is to make sure patients at the hospital follow their dietary needs.

Olsen also provides education on nutrition to the patients that need it, whether they have to start a new diet or need to change the way they eat.

Lillian Bowe: Portales News-Tribune Nicole Olsen, dietary technician at Roosevelt General Hospital, creates a plate for a patient at the hospital. Olsen’s job is to help patients with their dietary needs and educate them about nutrition.

Lillian Bowe: Portales News-Tribune
Nicole Olsen, dietary technician at Roosevelt General Hospital, creates a plate for a patient at the hospital. Olsen’s job is to help patients with their dietary needs and educate them about nutrition.

“Anyone can start eating right and there is a lot of material online that can help like eatright.org,” Olsen said

Olsen has been working at RGH for three months.

 

How can people start eating right?

I suggest starting out slow and cutting out one thing. Many people cut out soda and replace it with water or only drinking one soda a day. You don’t want to change your diet completely or you will just give up. I also suggest incentives, like if you eat fruit instead of candy for the whole week, you get a froyo (frozen yogurt) at the end of the week as a small reward.

 

Many people associate eating healthy with not very tasty food, how is that not true?

There are many healthy foods that are tasty and if you have to get rid of salt in your diet or want to add flavor to anything, natural herbs are great flavor additives. Using Mrs. Dash also works too as it has no salt.

 

What is a nutritious meal?

It should be a meal with a wide variety of foods. It should be fruits, grains, dairy, vegetables and proteins all on your plate. You can go on eatright.org and look at MyPlate, which is the new pyramid of the primary food groups. Also, the more colorful your plate is the more nutrition it is because you have a bigger variety of food.

 

How can people balance a healthy diet with a hectic schedule?

When you are on the go, just have nutritious things that can be taken with you, like a piece of fruit, a small yogurt, crackers and cheese and even little 100 calorie snack packs. Even when you have to eat fast food, most restaurants have salads or more nutritious options besides burgers and fries.

 

What about exercise?

You at least need get at least 15 to 30 minutes of exercise a day and it can be just walking outside. You just need to get mobile. Also, when you are watching TV, don’t snack on candy, but on 100 calorie popcorn or celery. During commercial breaks you can exercise like doing push ups or jogging in place.

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