Fun Strategies for Improved Health

I’ve been sharing the sentiment that we are experiencing a triple pandemic. The virus, a global Mental Health crisis, and a nutritional crisis related to the continuing rise of nutritionally related disease.

It’s time to get serious about (or make seriously fun) our individual journeys for improved health and wellness. 

One of the things to remember is that we can start our journeys in our homes.

To assist us on our way, I’m leveraging wonderful lessons or “mantras” from recent interviews with three amazing women. These women have worked tirelessly over the last several decades to address Type 2 diabetes. These three women are Denise Pancrynz, Juliette Britton (RD), and Laurie McBride (RD).

I’ve created three top lessons to support better nutrition: 

1) Nutrition is the key to managing diabetes; exercise is a smaller lever.  (Denise Pancrynz)

2) Display healthy foods where you can see them easiest. (Juliette Britton)

3) Put an egg in soda to provide an incentive for kids to cut down/eliminate sugary drinks. (Laurie McBride).

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Let’s dive deeper into the pools of wisdom from these amazing teachers and women:

1: Be the change that you want to see in the world. (Denise Pancrynz)

Denise Pancrynz was able to change her own nutritional status (reversing her own Type Diabetes 2 issue), and she now works with others to help them on their journey.  

Denise provided these “mantras” during our interview: 

Mantra #1: Eat Real Food.

Mantra #2:  Be the change that you want to see in the world.

Mantra #3. Eliminate the white hazards. (Also, Denise does not recommend eating gluten.) 

Mantra #4. Eat your veggies! (For parents, this is a great resource.)

Denise is also working with local restaurants to help offer healthier choices that can also suit a diabetic’s needs. She is supporting Southwest Florida’s Blue Zones Project®. Blue Zones Project® by Healthways is helping transform communities across the U.S. into areas where the healthy choice is easy and people live longer with a higher quality of life. 

If you are interested in learning more from Denise, listen to the full interview.

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2: Display healthy foods where you can see them easiest. (Juliette Britton)

Juliette Britton is a registered dietician and real food advocate. She specializes in working with parents with young children since Juliette is a mama of three young ones herself.

Here are some amazing “mantras” from Juliette:

Mantra #1: Don’t make foods forbidden

 Mantra #2: Avoid power struggles around food by involving children and giving them a choice.

 Mantra #3:  Use snack time as a way to fill up on those nutritious foods that we lack (fruits, veggies, protein, and healthy fats).  Note the absence of grains– 98% of kids eat enough grains but lack other nutrients/food groups.

Mantra #4: Diffuse the tension around food by transforming the “problem” (the picky eater”) into the “solution” (mom/dad needs your help and input in making healthier meals and choices).

(For more advice for “picky eater” kiddos, please see this link)

Mantra #5: Engage all senses -beyond just taste to provide more opportunities for exposure to healthy foods. Allow kids to PLAY with their food (how it feels, doing art projects, playing smelling/touching/guessing games with foods, playing acoustic games, etc.).  Older kids can prepare food with you.

Juliette is a strong believer in the power of food and the role of nutrition in all facets of life. Whether she is working with busy families, professional athletes, or an individual with an autoimmune disease, real food is the foundation for optimal health.

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If you are interested in learning more from Juliette, listen to the full interview here.

 3: Put an egg in soda to provide an incentive for kids to cut down/eliminate sugary drinks. (Laurie McBride)

This tip may sound gross, but it works. Read this post that shows a picture of a real tooth in sugar water for just a few days.

Laurie McBride is a Registered Dietician who has worked in the hospital setting and has also assisted in school nutrition programs. We at Nurture are honored to partner with wonderful health advocates like Laurie! 

Learn more from Laurie:

Mantra #1: Eat whole foods from Mother Earth– especially veggies! 

Mantra #2: Follow MyPlate (or Harvard’s Healthy Plate)– a huge improvement over the food pyramid! Read more on MyPlate.

Mantra #3: Get tools to overcome the 3 obstacles to eating on a budget (time, money, know-how).  This is exactly the approach we follow at Nurture. Read more.

Mantra #4: Eat according to the 5-2-1-0 plan. Eat ≥ 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, view ≤ 2 h of screen time, participate in 1 h of physical activity, and consume 0 sugar-sweetened beverages daily.

Laurie completed her Certificate of Training in Childhood and Adolescent Weight Management in 2015 and loves working with individuals of all ages to help them gain a healthy, enjoyable lifestyle.

 If you are interested in learning more from Laurie, listen to the full interview.

An important last tip is to HAVE fun! Feel free to join my (free) Make Nutrition Fun course I created in partnership with Juliette Britton.

Thanks for reading!

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