Touro launches a new community wellness series with free weight management classes.
New Year’s resolutions are a great way to jumpstart better health. In January, following a busy and indulgent holiday season, people are often motivated to eat better and exercise more, but that motivation sometimes wanes after just a few months or even weeks.
Fortunately, Touro is launching its 2016 Living Well with Touro Wellness Series, offering free monthly classes and events on a variety of topics designed to help participants live a healthier life. These multi-disciplinary sessions will feature health screenings, one-on-one consultations with health experts, cooking demonstrations, farmer’s market and grocery trips, and group discussions designed to empower and educate the community, taking a proactive, preventive approach to peoples’ health.
January’s focus will be on weight management, diet trends and goal-setting, under the guidance of Touro’s lead clinical dietitian, Liz Cabrera, RD, CSO, LDN, CNSC.
“Traditionally, dietitians have been seen as counselors, but we like to act more as coaches — and listen to and encourage clients — rather than simply tell them what to do,” Cabrera says. “We ask questions and take a realistic approach to see what changes a client might be open to in order to engage him or her in goal-setting.”
Cabrera says that the road to better health is a long-term journey full of small steps, and she advises clients to set small, realistic and measurable goals. “In the long run, small changes end up being positive long-term changes,” says Cabrera, who recommends the following simple health tips:
1. Replace sodas and sugary drinks with water.
2. Swap at least one processed snack for a whole food, such as a piece of fruit or a measured portion of nuts.
3. Learn serving sizes and proper portions.
4. Bring your own lunch to work or school.
5. Cook at home more often.
6. Eat a variety of healthy items, like different fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins.
7. Don’t deprive yourself! Indulge, but in moderation.
8. Eat mindfully; focus on your meal; and avoid too many distractions.
When she meets with Touro patients, Cabrera talks about what that patient is trying to accomplish with his or her health, and she advises against strict diets.
“All diets work in the short term, because you’re aware of the calories you’re consuming,” Cabrera says. “But overall, I advise clients to simply avoid processed foods — and those that are high in sodium, sugar and empty calories — and instead focus on consuming more whole, fresh foods.”
She also understands the challenges of sticking with a healthy eating plan in a city with such a robust offering of rich foods and other temptations, and she says that it is okay to indulge as long as portion sizes are controlled.
“It’s king cake season, so, rather than swearing off king cake, which puts you at the risk of eventually devouring a huge portion, allow yourself a small slice and be mindful of what you eat the rest of the day,” Cabrera says. She also recommends that clients look for lighter versions of meals on restaurant menus, such as those available at the Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group locations, which partner with Touro to offer diners healthier options. “Most restaurants will cater to customers, so just ask for sauce on the side or a lighter substitution,” she advises.
Lastly, since healthy living is just as much about moving your body as it is about what you put into your body, Cabrera recommends finding an activity that you enjoy, such as walking, and then putting that activity on your calendar. “Invite a friend too for more accountability and to make exercise a social event that you’re less likely to skip,” she says.
To learn more about Living Well with Touro, visit touro.com/events, or call (504) 897-8500.
Free Weight Management, Diet Trends and Goal Setting Event!
Join Touro for this free opportunity to jump start your health in the New Year!
If weight loss or maintenance is a goal of yours for 2016, then take advantage of this opportunity to meet with a Touro dietitian to learn about weight management, diet trends and goal setting. Take advantage of free screenings for weight, BMI and body fat, and receive a mini consultation with a Touro dietitian to help you implement some new weight management strategies.
Screenings and consultations will be offered between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in Touro’s Presidents Room on the 2nd floor of the hospital. Registration is required. Register online at touro.com/events, or call (504) 897-8500.
Parking in the Prytania and Delachaise Street garages will be validated.