Welcome to Wellness on the Weekend!
Each weekend I will ask an expert in the health and wellness arena a question or two concerning their area of expertise. My goal is to educate and empower us all to be healthier.
This weekend I reached out to Eugenia Soliterman, MPH, MSN. I was interested to learn how she helps her patients find their why in their journey toward better health.
1. What advice do you tell your patients of ways to balance healthy eating/food with less healthy stuff? Where is the sweet spot to reach health goals in terms of diet? Research from the longest living populations from the Blue Zones research shows us that we need to be 95-100% plant-based to have the greatest odds of living until we're 100. I educate all of my clients on this however this isn't necessarily the right balance for everyone. Long term consistency is vital because 40 years of eating plant-slanted with 60-80% of your meals being plant-based is much better than 6 months of being 100% plant-based then giving up because it's too difficult. I help people find the balance they're comfortable with, and often help them overcome challenges to healthy eating that lets them settle at a more plant-based position that they thought they peacefully could.
2. What advice do you tell your patients of ways to get exercise to reach their health goals? Where is the sweet spot to reach health goals? When is enough, enough? When is it too much? Again, I don't like to sugar-coat facts or downplay expectations so I educate all of my clients that 90 minutes of moderate-intensity activity (brisk walk) or 40 minutes of vigorous activity (jogging or active sports) is what research shows is the minimum to reach each day. Beyond that, exercise is still beneficial as long as no injury occurs. While I do particularly recommend incorporating weight training for older adults to prevent fractures, the type of exercise is not important. It's actually doing the exercise that counts. I personally think walking is one of the most under-rated exercises out there.
3. Are there strategies that you use with your patients to encourage healthy living? If so, what are they? I ask my patients to think of their "why" and then create steps that clearly accomplish their goals. For example, my newest client is working with me because she is overweight and her cholesterol is high. Her sister also has diabetes and she's concerned that she's likely to get it too. So when we create meal plans, exercise goals, and discuss modifications to what she is already doing, we will focus on her "why" so she can remember what she's working towards. All of my recommendations are informed by evidence-based research since I'm a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner so my clients know that the information they receive is not some random guru's advice but actually proven modifications.
Eugenia Soliterman, MPH, MSN, FNP-BC
Eugenia is a family nurse practitioner working in primary care in the unhealthiest county in New York State, the Bronx. She started their first Outpatient Nutrition Program that tries to reverse and prevent the majority of chronic conditions in their patients through education on plant based nutrition. She serves as the clinical director of this program.
In addition, she has a private business through which she sees private clients for hyper-focused individualized nutrition counseling using evidence-based nutrition to reach their health goals.
Helping people reverse their diseases brings her incredible joy. She hopes to have a long career continuing to change people lives by spreading this knowledge.
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