- With Mayo Clinic nutritionists
Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.read biographyclose window
Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.Katherine Zeratsky and Jennifer Nelson
Jennifer K. Nelson, M.S., R.D., L.D., C.N.S.D.
Jennifer Nelson is your link to a better diet. As specialty editor of the nutrition and healthy eating guide, she plays a vital role in bringing you healthy recipes and meal planning.
"Nutrition is one way people have direct control over the quality of their lives," she says. "I hope to translate the science of nutrition into ways that people can select and prepare great-tasting foods that help maintain health and treat disease."
A St. Paul, Minn., native, she has been with Mayo Clinic since 1978, and is director of clinical dietetics and an associate professor of nutrition at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.
She leads clinical nutrition efforts for a staff of more than 60 clinical dietitians and nine dietetic technicians and oversees nutrition services, staffing, strategic and financial planning, and quality improvement. Nelson was co-editor of the "Mayo Clinic Diet" and the James Beard Foundation Award-winning "The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook." She has been a contributing author to and reviewer of many other Mayo Clinic books, including "Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight for EveryBody," "The Mayo Clinic Family Health Book" and "The Mayo Clinic/Williams Sonoma Cookbook." She contributes to the strategic direction of the Food & Nutrition Center, which includes creating recipes and menus, reviewing nutrition content of various articles, and providing expert answers to nutrition questions.
Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.
As a specialty editor of the nutrition and healthy eating guide, Katherine Zeratsky helps you sort through the facts and figures, the fads and the hype to learn more about nutrition and diet.
A Marinette, Wis., native, she is certified in dietetics by the state of Minnesota and the American Dietetic Association. She has been with Mayo Clinic since 1999.
She's active in nutrition-related curriculum and course development in wellness nutrition at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and nutrition related to weight management and practical applications of nutrition-related lifestyle changes.
Other areas of interest include food and nutrition for all life stages, active lifestyles and the culinary arts.
She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, served a dietetic internship at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and worked as a registered dietitian and health risk counselor at ThedaCare of Appleton, Wis., before joining the Mayo Clinic staff.
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Nov. 13, 2009
Use the holidays to exercise healthy eating habits
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
Do your thoughts about the upcoming holidays seem to go like this — munch, feast, indulge and overindulge? And are they followed by feelings of remorse, distress and worry? You're not alone.
More than 65 percent of U.S. adults are overweight, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you're among them, you're probably already working on controlling your weight and anticipating the challenges of the holiday season. You've heard all the advice before: Skip the appetizers, watch those trimmings and avoid alcohol. But let's get real. Aren't these things what holiday fare is all about?
We need an attitude adjustment for the holiday season. After all, when you think about it, the holidays make up only a handful of days out of the year. There's nothing special about the calories we eat on these days — even though they seem to miraculously go right to "those parts" of our bodies. (A calorie is a calorie no matter when it's consumed.) It's just that so many holidays come at us in such a short space of time.
Why not embrace the holidays and use this compressed period of time as an "intense workout" to establish lifestyle changes shown to be most effective? Here's how to get started:
- Keep it fresh. Choose and fill up on foods with fewer calories — think plant-based (veggies, fruit, whole grain) and fresh or lightly prepared.
- Slow down. Take your time when you're eating and drinking. Between bites, put your fork down.
- Limit alcohol. Skip the cocktails before meals — alcohol can stimulate your appetite. You'll also avoid extra calories from alcohol.
- Move it. Keep physically active.
Most important, be "mindful" when eating (aware, nonjudgmental, appreciative) and not "mindless" (unaware, guilty, unmoved). Part of your workout should be to savor, appreciate and be thankful for favorite holiday fare in terms of quality — not quantity. Celebrate the holidays, and your successes. This workout may be just the thing you need to uncover the "new you."
Get ready, get set — get on with it! Let me know how it goes and what tips work for you.