As a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), Keri Bomarito of Seaside Nutrition works one-on-one with her clients to help them achieve their health goals through food using evidence-based strategies and recommendations. While attending the University of Florida, she took a nutrition class and realized this field combined two of her passions – food and helping others. Now as a dietitian, she works on meal plans and helps educate about good habits and choices. She’s experienced in nutrition care for every age group – from infants to elderly adults – and also enjoys educating others in the community about nutrition through lectures and workshops or at health fairs. So to assist in our own education, we turned to Keri for her insights, tips, and guidelines to reaching our health goals in 2020.
Social: So I’m trying to get healthier in the new year. Where do I start?
Keri: Start by asking yourself, “What is my overall health goal?” and “Why is this important to me?” Then start looking at what small changes you can make to your overall eating to get there. Small changes repeated consistently over time add up to big results!
Do you have general guidelines for people looking to improve their wellness or is it on a case-by-case basis?
I like to say nutrition and healthy eating are not one size fits all! Much of what I discuss in a nutrition therapy session is individualized to a client’s medical conditions, food preferences, nutrition and weight history, and lifestyle. It is my pleasure to work with a variety of clients who all have different health goals. Some are working towards a more plant-based way of eating, some are following a specific meal plan to manage chronic kidney disease or diabetes, while others are working to overcome an eating disorder or repair their relationship with food.
Can a change in diet help with more serious conditions and illnesses?
Of course! I believe our modern way of eating is contributing to most of our chronic health conditions. Making gradual healthy changes to the way we eat can prevent many conditions and slow or reverse certain diseases like CKD and diabetes.
Do you have any tips for breaking bad habits and keeping to a new wellness plan?
Yes, make things as easy for yourself as possible! Take a few minutes the night before to plan out what your food strategy is for the next day. If you have a goal to eat more vegetables, cut them up the night before and have them at eye level in the refrigerator in a clear container so you see them. Dip them in hummus or something tasty or add them to a dish that does not normally have vegetables. Check in with an accountability partner who you can share your goals with!
What’s the most common mistake that people make that causes them to fail at their new plan?
Skipping meals, going too long in between meals, or not eating in balance. This leads to being much hungrier at the next meal and this restricting and binging cycle can lead to feelings of guilt and shame.
When I get to the grocery store, things can be a bit overwhelming. What should I be looking for on labels to help me choose the right foods and avoid the wrong ones?
Start by looking at the ingredients which are listed in order of weight. Choose whole foods that have minimally-processed ingredients. If you don’t know what an ingredient is, look it up. After learning what is it and what the purpose is, if you don’t agree or think it needs to be in your food, try to make it yourself or find a better product.
What are the benefits of working with a dietitian versus just going it alone?
We live in the age of information overload from the internet; we hear conflicting nutrition advice from many different sources. When working with a RDN, you can be confident that they are the nutrition expert and will give you sound nutrition advice that is individualized to meet your specific health needs. An RDN also provides support and acts as an accountability partner on your health and wellness journey.
As a dietitian nutritionist, what is one thing about health and wellness that you wish everyone knew?
RDNs are not the food police and there are no “bad foods!” We are not bad for eating less nutritious foods. All foods break down into protein, fats, or carbohydrates and nourish our bodies in some way. All foods can fit into a healthy, intuitive meal plan, and balance is key!
Learn more about Seaside Nutrition by visiting www.seasidenutritionfl.com.