As you know, last month I launched Healthy Habits and today I am thrilled to share the latest edition of Ask the Nutritionist where I interview Registered Dietitians and Nutritionists from all across the country to answer YOUR biggest health questions. Have a question that hasn’t been answered yet? Leave it in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.
Today I am featuring my friend and fellow Michigander, Nicole Morrissey, MS, RD, LD. We had the opportunity to meet in person last year at Taste of Michigan. She is a ball of energy and her passion and enthusiasm for health and nutrition is contagious!
Website: Prevention RD
Day Job: Director of Nutrition Services and Diabetes Educator at a community hospital
Bio: I’m an RD who has always struggled with weight loss and finding that perfect balance between good and good for me. I love to run, play ice-hockey, and watch bad TV. I live in southwest Michigan and love being close to the waters of Lake Michigan. My husband, Mark, and I have been married for 3 years and hope to start a family in the somewhat near future. I started my blog back in June of 2009 and have been in love ever since with the community and the freedom to empower people through my words. My first cookbook is being published in August and is entitled, “A Delicious Balance: 100 Healthy Every Day Recipes from the Creator of Prevention RD.” It has been a dream come true to share my passion and love for food, healthy cooking, and healthy living with the world.
How did you decide to become a Registered Dietitian? I lost weight and found that I loved nutrition and wellness…I wanted to help others reach their goals, too.
What is a common nutrition myth that you can dispel? Diabetics can eat sugar!
What is your favorite go-to healthy week night dinner? I wish I had one, ha! My husband always jokes that we “never eat the same thing twice”…and, it’s true.
GMOs (genetically modified organisms): How important is it to remove GMO’s from our diet? It seems that they are in EVERYTHING and it is overwhelming to try and cut them out.
Can I admit that the wide-spread presence of GMO’s in our food supply scares me? It scares me a lot. I think first off, it’s important to understand that the long-term effects of GMO’s are still unclear and that we don’t know with 100% certainty what dangers they pose. Even with the GMO concern aside, if people took the time to home cook with wholesome (perhaps organic) ingredients, GMO’s present much less concern. The over-use of prepared and packaged foods is, what I believe to be, the underlying issue…with a lot of things regarding health and wellness.
What happens if I don’t eat within one hour of waking?
I am not a breakfast person. Nothing happens, but it can lead to bad breakfast habits! Confession: I don’t eat within one hour of waking…I drink coffee, with flavored creamer. The important thing about breakfast is to get something in, consistently, at a time that works for your schedule. The sooner the better, but do what works for you and then do it…every day! For me, that’s about 2 hours after rising once I get to work and get to checking my work emails.
What are your thoughts on weight loss surgery?
Having worked in bariatrics, I know that there is a good candidate and a bad candidate for weight loss surgery and surprisingly, their candidacy has little to do with their weight status. Over the past 10 years or so, bariatrics have received a lot of press – both good and bad. With the right support system and interdisciplinary team, people can find long-term success after bariatric surgery. Unfortunately, in my experience, most people end up either 1) not losing the amount of weight they had anticipated or been “promised” and/or 2) they regain much, if not all, of the weight. For those considering bariatrics, it is not a decision to be made in a split second, but rather a decision that solidifies over months of intensive nutrition and behavioral counseling in preparation for the surgery itself. Only then can the determination be made if the candidate elect is appropriate.
Do you use body mass index (BMI) as a predictor of overweight and obesity?
Yes and no – this is one of my biggest battles within the field. As practitioners, we learn a few ways to calculate appropriate body weight. One of these measures is BMI, another is ideal body weight and percentage ideal body weight. I won’t go into the specifics on how to calculate each of these figures, but take for example a 5’4 female who weighs 125 lbs. The “ideal” body weight for this person would be 120 lbs and her BMI 21.5 (reference range for a healthy body weight is 18.5 to 24.9). At 108 lbs, this female would be an appropriate weight (BMI 18.5), just as she would be at 145 lbs (BMI 24.9). While ideal body weight calculations take into account gender, BMI does not. Neither equation takes into account percentage of lean mass versus fat mass. In short, I use BMI with a grain of salt and rely on other predictors for the whole picture of body weight and health.
Where do you see the obesity epidemic leading America? Is it improving?
Unfortunately, the obesity epidemic continues to grow more wide-spread every day…and I don’t foresee a plateau or decline any time soon. As a nutrition professional, it seems that the current trends in food include the omission or drastic reduction of various food groups as can be seen in Paleo, low-carb, gluten-free, and dairy-free diets. The emphasis on caloric control seems to be old news and ironically, herein lies the problem with obesity. Until we are able to drastically reduce the rates of childhood obesity, rates of obesity will continue to rise. The prepubescent body is creating too many fat cells that will forever be with that individual, making them predisposed to weight re-gain and obesity. From there, it’s a vicious cycle.
Thank you again to Nicole for stopping by The Lemon Bowl!
If you have any questions you’d like to see featured in future interviews, leave them in the comments section!