The first of the year typically brings resolutions that include losing weight or exercising more. Both of these resolutions are based on the common knowledge that each act will go far in promoting health and wellness. In fact, they are the two most important things that we can do for ourselves.

Making changes in your diet can be difficult. What else do you do at least three times a day, seven days a week, fifty two weeks a year? The temptation to eat more than you should, or to eat foods that are not healthy, is strong and constant.

Where can you turn for help to sort through nutrition/diet information, resist temptation and determine what is right for you? Enter the Registered Dietitian or other qualified health professional. Just as a trainer at the gym can guide you through the maze of weights and equipment, so can a qualified nutrition professional help steer you on the path of healthy eating. This professional will assess your nutritional needs and provide the necessary 12-16 weeks of coaching to establish a “new nutrition menu” based on your lifestyle, medical history and personal goals. When looking for a “nutrition coach”, ask about education, qualifications and how they will create a nutrition plan that is right for you.

As a Registered Dietitian, I find it curious that individuals plan vacations, careers, retirement…but then eat whatever is put in front of them or what is convenient. Similarly, most Americans obtain nutritional information from the food companies who are trying to sell their product, not make us healthier! Nutrition is a cornerstone of good health. Shouldn’t decisions about what you eat come from a reliable, objective source and be based on scientific fact?

Recent reports have revealed that by 2020 (that’s just nine years away!) 50% of the US population will have or be on the verge of type II diabetes. Healthy eating and exercise are the prescription to prevent this epidemic. It is up to each one of us to take responsibility for our own health. Make 2011 the year you finally get the education and guidance you need to put you at the top of your game. Nutrition matters and so do you!

Elizabeth (Libby) Quigley is a Registered Dietician and owner of EQ Consulting. She can be reached at 760-773-1796 or [email protected]. Visit

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