Since 2005, Jennifer Bryant has been helping people get healthier with small focused changes to their diets. She is a registered dietician, nutritionist and certified diabetes care/education specialist. Bryant says, “If we can just change a few things in somebody's diet it can make a really big difference. We pick two or three very focused goals every week and we continue building on those.”
She recommends cutting back on sugar, eating whole foods and for some eating a plant-based diet.
“I had one girl at the end of last year and she was so tired and she had no energy. “She made few small changes like cutting sugar out of her diet for one month. “She said I cannot tell you how much better I feel. She had more energy to enjoy life. Just changing a few things in her diet, just totally changed her life,” says Bryant.
Using herbs and spices can be healthy alternatives to salt. Bryant also recommends eating more vegetables and whole foods. And what about the sugar? “Sugar is a big promoter of inflammation, so if we can cut the sugar down, it can make a big difference in our overall health.” ( picture 1)
Bryant believes people can help build their natural immunity by adding fruits and vegetables to their diet; broccoli and garlic are especially beneficial.(pic 2)
The best way to stay healthy is by getting enough sleep and managing stress. “It’s so important and people just don’t prioritize that”. She also recommends setting limits on phone television and screen time for better sleep. “When we are tired we also have more cravings.”
In the end, Bryant says it’s all about creating a balance between health and pleasure. She doesn’t believe in going on a diet. “I am really not a fan of diets. I have almost never seen them work long term especially when you are going on and off of diets… there is a lot of mental health challenges that go along with that.”
Bryant believes gut health is also a huge factor in immune function. She recommends taking live probiotics or eating yogurt, kombucha or something fermented every day since consistency is key. (Use yogurt photo-3)
Fruits, veggies, nuts and beans are considered plant-based foods and Bryant says they all have an antioxidant in them. The best way to maximize our antioxidants intake is by “eating the rainbow.” Different fruits and vegetables are different colors like red tomatoes and green peppers. If you eat all five colors, you will cover all your bases since each color represents different antioxidants. (photo 4)
One of Bryant’s recent clients has transitioned to a plant-based diet, she says the results were dramatic, “He has completely normal blood sugars now when he was diagnosed diabetic. We weren’t expecting it, but we also saw his cholesterol cut in half.” (photo 5)
Bryant says eating well is more important now. “I think it’s always been important. It’s more important now because we know more know and can do more know about x, y and z issues than ever before. It should be empowering,” she says.
Visit Bryant's website for more at nourishednutritioncounseling.com or follow her on Instagram. @nourishednc.