We return to Tri Delta’s popular 3 for You series with Tri Delta alumna Jan Park, Charleston, a registered nurse, certified weight management specialist, fitness trainer and corporate wellness manager. She shares her three tips for nutritional transformation. Read more below, watch the video or listen to her interview on our Let’s Talk Tri Delta Podcast.
It’s a brand new year and Tri Delta is taking the month of January to focus on wellness—from mental health to self-care and everything in between. Alumna and wellness expert Jan Park, founder of Health Yourself by JP, believes nutrition—the food we eat every day—is the number one driver of our health.
Jan helps take the confusion out of nutrition by making it simple and empowering people to take control of their health. Here, she shares her three best tips for nutritional transformation.
Tip #1 Don’t be afraid of your carbs
Out of everything in nutrition, carbohydrates—or carbs—are the most abused and confused. Carbs have been demonized as one big category, and there are a lot of fad diets that want you to eliminate all carbs. But there are actually good carbs and bad carbs, and we don’t want to throw out the good carbs with the bad ones.
Good carbs have not been processed; they are still in the form in which Mother Nature provided them to us. Brown rice, fruit and oatmeal are all good carbs. Processing carbs is what strips all the nutrients out of them, causing them to digest extremely rapidly and to have a high impact on your blood sugar. Bad carbs are made with white flour—things like waffles, pancakes, crackers and a lot of desserts. All your sugar-laden products like high fructose corn syrup are in the bad carb category. You do need to limit those carbs. Because they’ve been stripped of their nutritional value, they perpetuate hunger and weight gain. But your body really needs good carbs, which help keep you full and aids in weight loss.
Tip #2 Up your plant food game
One food you never have to worry about how much you eat is vegetables—you can eat as many vegetables as you want! All plant food is good for your gut. GI issues—like irritable bowel syndrome, GI reflux and constipation—are some of the most prevalent diagnoses in the U.S. But most GI issues can be healed by establishing a good healthy micro-biome, the environment in your GI tract that is made of billions of healthy bacteria. There is one thing that these healthy bacteria live and thrive off, and it’s the fiber found in vegetables. The more plant food you can eat, the more protected you can be against GI issues.
Tip #3 Plan for success in the kitchen
Planning is the key to success. Use your weekend or days off to plan at least three home-cooked, healthful dinners. If you want leftovers for a healthy lunch the next day, or if you want to turn those three dinners into six, just double the recipes. Leftovers are lifesaving! Set up your environment in your kitchen that nudges you to make healthy decisions by default. If you have junk food in your house, you’re going to eat it. Try not to even bring it in the house. Instead, have healthier alternatives for snacks and desserts.