Meet our Incredible Intern Rachael Heilner…
Most of you have told us you love to hear what nutrition professionals do when they struggle to eat healthfully. Meet our amazing intern Rachael. You’ll be inspired by her solution to her challenges and probably can relate to them and to her ideas of how she gets around them!
Hi! I’m Rachael! I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Dietetics and love food! Even with a degree in nutrition I still struggle at times with eating healthy! I have four goals for the year that I hope will carry over to not just goals but a lifestyle change for the better! 🙂
- Eating less processed foods. I battle this so much, it’s ridiculous! We live in such a fast paced society and everyone loves the grab-and-go snacks that we often forget all the added sugar and fat in them. So reading nutrition labels is always a must in my book. I try to look for key words like “whole grain” and “less sodium”. Even though they say these in big bold letters, I look at everything on the label. There may be less sodium but more fat, so look closely! I love homemade food much better anyway and I’ll know what exactly I’m eating on top of it. 🙂
- Taking time to eat healthy. Lately I’ve been doing a good job at this, actually! I eat A LOT of dairy and grains but need to work on the fruit and veggie intake. I’m a huge planner for everything else in life that I do, so I need to take more time to plan out my meals as well so that I’m getting a more balanced diet. I’ve been trying a lot lately to make my own lunches for work, cutting up some fruit and veggies to reap the most nutritional benefits. My new good solution is to plan out my meals on Sundays for the whole week and go to the store to get all the ingredients. I have lots of friends that do this and it works great! Even when I eat out, I try to take the time to really look at the menu and TRY to choose the healthier options, without being afraid to ask questions either to get the healthiest versions of the foods I love!
My go-to snack is cheese and crackers! I love The Laughing Cow Cheese wedges. They are low in fat and calories and taste so good and they have plenty of varieties. Mixing up crackers into mini sandwiches is so easy too! Check out The Nutrition Twins’ Cheese and Crackers the Healthy Way blog http://nutritiontwins.com/cheese-and-crackers-the-healthy-way/ for some more ideas!
- Exercising on a regular basis. I’ve been also doing this one quite well too! I’m slowly getting back into a regular workout routine as much as I can. Right now I’m doing PiYO which is a mixture of pilates and yoga and is great! It sculpts your muscles and increases flexibility in workouts between 20 and 50 minutes! I’m not endorsing it, but it’s made me feel stronger and more toned in my stomach, which is right where I want and need it. I’m in a better mood and have more energy after exercising, so why wouldn’t I want to do it every day?! If you struggle with exercising, get a workout buddy to motivate you and get you moving, also to hold you accountable for getting your workout in. My fiancé definitely is that person for me and I am for him as well. We’ve worked out together a lot which is much more fun than by yourself!
- Get plenty of sleep. This is something I struggle with on a daily basis, like most of the world probably! I aim for 8 hours every night, but sometimes work, everyday tasks, etc get in the way. I make sure all my blinds are closed in my room and it’s completely dark so no light has a chance of waking me. I silence ALL sound on my cell phone so the only thing that can wake me up is my alarm and that’s it. It helps a lot so no texts or phone calls wake me up in the middle of the night. If I have trouble sleeping I’ve heard chamomile tea or lavender work well and I may give them a try!
These may sound like generic goals but it’s something that I want to make permanent and I think MANY people can relate to all of them. So let’s all start and continue to eat healthy and really take care of our bodies today! Happy eating and working out! 🙂