ON THE JOB: Robie Wright
Q: How can we eat well when we’re out at an event or traveling?
A: Traveling is no different than what we want to try and achieve when we are at home. We need to consider portion size, how the food is prepared, and incorporate fruits and vegetables. For many restaurants, portions are double what we need or are able to eat. Ask for a half portion, split the meal with a friend, or place half the meal in a to-go box at the start of the meal. Ask for sauces and dressings on the side, minimize fried foods, start with a salad instead of solely bread and order an extra serving of vegetables. Many restaurants have nutritional information online and/or on the menu. Be aware of calories per serving. Many times the meal is providing calories for what we need for the entire day, if not more.
Q: Is organic really better for us? If so, which items are important to buy organic?
A: As we know, the topic of organic food can be political. Organic is not just about the food that we are consuming, but also the impact of the process of food production. Pesticides and chemicals in our environment as well as the people that handle them are a part of the equation as well the impact on our bodies. We know that pesticides can be harmful. So, to assume that produce with pesticides can be dangerous for our health is logical. In addition, organic produce can be higher in vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals which may be due in part to the produce being more local and thus fresher.
Q: What is this gluten-free initiative that everyone seems to be doing?
A: Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye grains. Gluten is a common additive in processed foods for its texture and protein properties. The idea of eating only “fresh foods” has a very healthy ring to it, and the elimination of gluten has become a fad diet. The drawback is that when you restrict grains then you are restricting the majority of cereals and breads which are fortified with vitamins and minerals. This can result in a deficiency of iron, riboflavin, folate, thiamin and niacin. Calcium and fiber intake also suffer when grains are restricted.
About Robie Wright
COMPANY: Wellness Coaching & Nutrition Therapy, PLLC
ADDRESS: 21707 Kingsland Blvd., Suite 104, Katy
EXPERIENCE: Twenty years as a dietitian with experience including long-term care, health care marketing, nutritional menu review and speaker regarding nutrition and wellness
EDUCATION: Bachelor of science from Texas A&M University and completion of the coordinated program in dietetics and a master’s in nutrition at the University of Texas
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