Dietician gives tips on maintaining healthy eating habits during summer vacation

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) – Festivals, fair food, and vacationing can make it tough for people to prepare healthy meals.

Samantha Bulgrin, a registered dietician at Marshfield Clinic said it can be difficult maintaining healthy eating habits being on the go, but she said to try to be as inclusive as possible in terms of all the food groups over the course of the day, just to get a good balance. And, to make sure no full group of nutrients is missed.

“It’s not perfect every day, an easy one that gets left off is fruits and vegetables, which is interesting, because most people like fruits and vegetables, and we’re in a pretty good season now where there’s a lot of things available. But that’s such a common one when I talk with patients that they just miss. So I think really thinking about how can I at least keep one fruit and one vegetable at a minimum every day? Is a good starting place.”

Bulgrin said going out to eat tends to happen more often during the summer, so if that is the case she recommends making smart choices. When it comes to grocery shopping, she recommends making a list and shopping around the perimeter of the store. That’s where fruits and veggies are, along with lean protein and low-fat dairy products.

“Once we start to get into the middle aisles of the grocery store, the more tempting things are there, like cookies and treats and snacks. And it’s fine to keep those things in your diet and to pick up some of those things. But if you only shop those middle aisles and you miss the other stuff, that’s where we might find that protein is lacking or that the fruit and vegetable intake is lacking,” she said.

She also encourage people to be mindful of those liquid calories. She said sugary drinks can be problematic and the portion size on those kinds of drinks, like pop and juice, is 4 ounces.

Bulgrin said it can be difficult maintaining healthy eating habits being on the go, but she said to try to be as inclusive as possible in terms of all the food groups over the course of the day, just to get a good balance. And, to make sure no full group of nutrients is missed.

“It’s not perfect every day, an easy one that gets left off is fruits and vegetables, which is interesting, because most people like fruits and vegetables, and we’re in a pretty good season now where there’s a lot of things available. But that’s such a common one when I talk with patients that they just miss. So I think really thinking about how can I at least keep one fruit and one vegetable at a minimum every day? Is a good starting place.”

She said people often miss out on fiber and protein and overeat in the grain group like bread, pasta and cereal. So she said monitoring portion sizes is helpful.

MyPlate is a good example of what people should be eating every meal, along with portion sizes. Half of the plate should include fruits and veggies, one quarter being a grain with a good source of fiber, another quarter being a protein, and a serving of calcium or milk on the side.

She said once people mention they’re feeling tired or fatigued, that’s a key indicator to re-evaluate their meal patterns and nutrition intake.

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