December 8, 2016
Meet Our Registered Dietitian – Kelsea Forrester
Are you wondering what to eat for dinner? Kelsea Forrester, Registered Dietitian and Certified Personal Trainer, is the one to talk to. She won’t help you make your evening meal per se, but she can help you choose the right option – for tonight, and tomorrow night too.
Raspberries over Milkshakes
Kelsea has the training needed to be great at helping people make good food decisions, but she didn’t learn it all in the classroom. Growing up in two homes on the opposite end of the ‘healthy’ spectrum gave her a perspective that many clients can now relate to. “My Dad only fed us fast food, while my mom and step-dad are vegetarians with their own vegetable garden,” she explains. “So growing up I got to experience both extremes of food planning, or lack thereof.”. Faced with her own choice for nutrition, she chose the healthier latter. Now she eagerly helps others find their own ideal healthy way of eating.
The Student’s Struggle
Many of Kelsea’s clients are students here at MIT Recreation, and that’s probably not a surprise. The biggest challenge she sees from them is not a huge surprise, either: lack of time and money. But there is a nutrition solution for everyone, no matter what their budget. Kelsea works hard to help each client find theirs. “That ahh-ha moment when clients find an idea that they hadn’t yet thought of on their own, that can change how they look at and prepare their food,” she says, is her favorite part of the job. Once they find that moment, success becomes a matter of progress, not perfection. Kelsea encourages her student clients especially to remember that their 20s are about creating good habits, not about being perfect already.
Advice from a Dietitian
There are plenty of questions that come up in any of Kelsea’s teaching sessions, no matter who the client. The most popular is usually “What should I eat before I exercise?” To this, she explains that everyone is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer. She does, however, advise all her clients to avoid false nutrition claims. “The word Natural is used on so many food products in the grocery store, but it is completely unregulated,” she explains. An unregulated claim means that it means, well, nothing. So what does she advise? “Don’t be convinced to buy something based on what’s on the front of the package. Look at the actual nutrition label and then decide.”. The back nutrition label, unlike the box front, is regulated. That’s where you want to look for true information on your choice.
“What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
If there is a single key to eating well, it may just be what Kelsea advises all her clients to do, no matter what their diet: have a plan. “Plan ahead so that you know what your next snack or meal will be,” she tells them. “It’s much easier to stick to a plan of balanced eating than to wing it every day.” No one has unlimited willpower, and when hunger strikes, not knowing what to eat next can lead down a dark path to junk food. So while no single diet may be right for every client, every single client should have a plan. And if you are still wondering what that plan might be, just come talk to Kelsea.
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