Claudia, it’s National Nutrition month! How do you plan on celebrating?
National Nutrition Month is a great time to celebrate nutritious foods. There are several events happening around campus, including some whole grain tastings and a vegetarian recipe contest. As a part of this focus on good nutrition, Registered Dietitian (RD) Day is March 13. I plan to attend an event with the governor at the State Capitol. Last year, more than 100 RDs from around the state came together to be recognized.
What are your favorite forms of exercise and your go to after-workout snack?
On a day-to-day basis, I enjoy biking, running or walking, yoga, and recently, weight lifting (as part of the Strength is Beautiful program). Snacking is the best part! I usually try to have a combo of carb and protein after a workout. I snack on things such as an apple or banana with peanut butter, a handful of trail mix, or even a glass of Ovaltine with low-fat milk.
However, my real passion is the outdoors. My favorite activities are backpacking, hiking, rock climbing, and canoeing but these activities are harder to access during the work week. I try to get outside on the weekends whenever possible. To sustain my energy during these longer duration sports, I pack a variety of meals and snacks. I usually start the day with loaded oatmeal, and lunch tends to be a whole wheat tortilla with cheese/meat or peanut butter/trail mix. After a day in the outdoors, I cook a scratch meal from dehydrated ingredients on a camping stove.
Tell me about your favorite event or workout you’ve ever had.
Summiting Mount Katahdin in Maine was a monumental experience for me. After hitting the trail at 4 a.m., my husband and I hiked 10 miles in the dark to the base of the mountain to get registered for our summit. It was a steep 5.2 miles up to the top from there, which involved some hand-over-hand climbing up rebar posts. These last 15 miles were only a small portion of the 2,189 miles that we had backpacked leading up to this moment. In fact, we had started 14 states away in Georgia six months prior and had followed the white blazes of the Appalachian Trail to reach our goal.
What do you think is important for people who are just starting out in these activities to know?
With any outdoor sport, it is important to be prepared for anything. Have some basic knowledge of the activity you are engaging in, be familiar with wilderness first aid, and take some time to research Leave No Trace principles.
If you are more interested in indoor activities, such as the gym, that’s fine too. The important thing is that you are exercising. Don’t hesitate to ask questions. No one is there to judge. Start with whatever you feel comfortable with and build on it as you go.
What would you suggest they pack with them?
In the outdoors, I would recommend dressing in layers and taking plenty of food. Make sure to bring water purification tablets or a pump to access safe drinking water. Bring rain gear and a sleep system (tent, sleeping bag, etc.), just in case.
Has the UAMS Fitness Center’s Strength is Beautiful plan been good for you? In what way?
I never thought that I would like weight lifting. I was intimidated by the weight room and the entire concept. Before starting the Strength is Beautiful plan I focused primarily on cardio based workouts. I was missing out on a really important element for my health. Strength training has toned my muscles and given me a new confidence in my own abilities. I like that the plan builds from week to week. It’s a fun challenge to increase the weight every time. The program is more than just weight lifting though, it also has metabolic components and a set of weekly sprints. I have found that my speed as a runner and biker has increased as a result.
What can a dietitian provide that makes them stand out?
Registered dietitians possess a unique skill set designed to help others eat right. Dietitians are trained in medical nutrition therapy and can make recommendations based on specific disease states. At UAMS, we have RDs on every inpatient unit and in most outpatient departments. I work as a part of the kidney transplant team and enjoy helping patients lose weight prior to surgery. Other RDs specialize in diabetes, cancer, geriatrics and fertility, just to name a few.
How would you suggest that employees get in touch with our dietitians on campus?
Ask your doctor or nurse for a referral to see a registered dietitian or call us at: 501-526-6477. Most visits are covered by insurance.