“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” - Jim Rohn

A good, healthy, and nutritious diet forms a solid foundation for healthy living. If your body is your only true home, then should you not treat it with as much care as possible?

Quality nutrition is a huge part of this “care”. Good nutrition fuels your body to perform basic functions as well as impacting our mood, energy, mental capacity, and even your sleep.

A healthy lifestyle is able to blend together positive social, physical, and environmental aspects of your life in the most effective way possible. One of the physical aspects that impacts you the most is your nutritional intake. What you eat determines your overall well-being, how your body deals with illness, and it can also have major effects on your energy.

No wonder you feel better after eating a salad compared to an Animal Style burger from In-and-Out.

The priority your diet takes is not only important for your current daily routine but it’ll be even more important 20, 30, or even 40 years down the line because a healthy diet can help prevent multiple chronic diseases from manifesting in the future. Being able to plan your meals to reach their full nutritional potential is not an easy task, but for that, we can call on the experts.

Nutritionists are exactly the right experts for this job. They help set up diets that work for your specific needs and ultimately help you establish a healthy lifestyle that sticks.

What Exactly Do Nutritionists Do?

Nutritionists are the experts you need to learn about healthy living
Nutritionists can help you decide on the best 'meal prep' recipes to fit your busy lifestyle. (Source: Ella Olsson on Unsplash)

In its most basic form, the profession of nutritionists and dieticians is to advise people on the best ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle by focusing on food intake and nutrition.

A nutritionist will carefully assess the nutritional needs of a client by examining their lifestyle and current diet. They might then suggest changes to the client by proposing new recipes or modifying the client’s relationship with food in order to reach their optimal health.

Nutritionists in LA and across the US, are professionals with extensive knowledge on all things nutrition. A certified nutritionist has received a bachelor’s degree in nutrition science, completed a number of hours of practice under supervision, and has passed an accreditation exam. Some nutritionists are also accredited in other fields such as counseling and continue their education through course refreshers on new nutrition programs and scopes of practice.

Nutritionists and dieticians work in a variety of fields. Some can be found in clinical settings (hospitals and clinics), others in food service management, and some may serve their communities through public health.

Clinical nutritionists work with patients to help them and their families assess the best nutritional therapies and dietary strategies for their particular needs. The goal for a clinical nutritionist is to address a specific medical issue, such as hypertension, diabetes, or obesity, through a plan of action focused on the patient’s diet.

Nutritionists can also aid food management by focusing on the food-related services within institutions. They may work with companies that provide food services, such as a catering business or event coordinators.

By adapting recipes, menus, food sourcing, and supply budgeting within a company, the nutritionist can optimize the performance of the services provided by incorporating their knowledge of health and nutrition.  For example, a food catering business might have a nutritionist on call in order to help them determine the best way possible to create a menu for an event.

The last sector in which you might find a nutritionist working in is in public health. The public health sector includes nutritionists who work in schools, community health clinics, recreational centers, local, state, and federal government agency programs, and health maintenance organizations (HMOs).

Los Angeles: City of Stars, City of Diets

Diets and therefore nutritionists are prevalent in Los Angeles
With so many Instagramable diets, which ones are actually healthy? (Source Photo by Charles on Unsplash)

In a city where every corner has a juice bar and new diets are always trending, how does one know what is truly healthy? This is where the expertise of a nutritionist comes in. They can help you decide whether or not you actually need to stay away from gluten, or if the Keto diet you saw on Instagram is best for your body type.

Many of the diets found online are pushed by Hollywood elite who might not be so transparent as to why they are promoting such a diet, they could simply be pushing ads. Professional nutritionists consistently warn against these fad diets.

Here are some of the major food trends debunked:

  • Weight Loss Teas- most of these teas are simply loaded with laxatives and caffeine. Your weight loss is not hinging upon a magical tea; it is better to focus on a balanced intake of all food groups.
  • “Detox” Cleanses - your body is equipped with the tools to cleanse itself, your kidneys and liver. These organs naturally ‘detox’ your body. After indulging, it is best to ‘cleanse’ by eating sufficient amounts of vegetables, lean proteins, and drinking lots of water.
  • Intermittent Fasting - restrictive eating schedules increase the odds of rebounding and overeating, decreasing muscle mass, and disturbed sleep patterns. If you are hungry for 16 hours of the day, you're probably not going to be feeling your best.
  • The Keto Diet - this restrictive diet has no foundation on what a healthy diet should be. A healthy diet should incorporate a wide variety of foods and be sustainable. The Keto diet does neither of those.
  • “Healthy” Desserts - the recipes for these healthy desserts include substitutions that are still high in sugar and calories. It is probably better to eat a mini Snickers bar than a whole tray of chocolate hemp protein bars. Proportions matter!

Consulting a nutritionist can help guide you to a well-informed, scientifically-backed, diet catered to your specific needs. No more scrolling through Instagram for “healthy” recipes! A good nutritionist will have the years of knowledge under their belt not only to create a diet that works with your individual body but also be able to provide constant encouragement and motivation through follow-ups and communication.

Where to Find Nutritionists in Los Angeles?

Nutritionists focus on what works for you and your lifestyle
The right nutritionist can help you measure out the best ways to feeling better both physically and mentally. (Source: Charles on Unsplash)

In a study about the Healthiest Cities in America, LA ranked 42 out of 50. For a city, known for its interest in health and wellness, that rank might come as a shock. Based on fitness and general health of LA residents, access to doctors, and the feasibility of health insurance, Los Angeles scored pretty low in the charts.

This might lead you to start thinking seriously about your health and what you can do to improve it.

A possible first step is to look up a nutritionist in your area, but a simple Google search of a nutritionist in Los Angeles will take you down a rabbit hole of over 500 results. You’ll find everything from celebrity nutritionists, to health centres, to online consultations. It might be a daunting task to look through all those pages, in order to avoid all the chaos, it is best to narrow your search.

Like in all professions nutritionist have fields of focus. Some specialize in meal preparation, others in treating specific illnesses, while others work on overall wellness.

To start you off, here are some of LA’s best nutritionists:

  • Kylie King (MS, RD, CHC, CPT ) from Metabella Wellness Center, practices a holistic approach to nutrition and wellness, which means that she looks at how all areas of your life are connected. She aims to develop a deeper understanding of food and getting rid of the good vs bad food mentality.
  • Alyse Levine (MS, RD), helps you reconnect with your body’s natural signals of hunger, fullness, and satisfaction. She works on eating CLEAN: Choosing real foods; Losing the “off-limits” stressful diet mindset; Eating mindfully; Assessing your hunger; No deprivation.
  • Whitney English (MS RDN), optimizes your diet through effective and sustainable behavior change. Her whole foods philosophy melds the evidence-based disease-fighting benefits of a diet rich in plants with the sustainability of a dietary pattern rooted in mindfulness and enjoyment.
  • LeeAnn Weintraub (MPH, RD) After an initial assessment, LeeAnn will calculate your daily nutrition needs and thoroughly explain how to best meet these needs with a focus on balance of macronutrients, portion sizes, and recommended foods.

These nutritionist and dieticians provide individualized meal plans for their patients as part of medical nutrition therapy after an initial consultation.

Ways to be Healthy in Los Angeles

Stay healthy and avoid plastic by using farmer's markets to buy produce
Farmer's markets are a fun way to get your fruits and veggies while supporting local farmers. (Source: Jakub Kapusnak on Unsplash)

Southern California, including Los Angeles, seems to have it all. Year-round great weather, a multitude of healthy restaurants, and countless activities, making it easy to stay active and have fun.

Here are some ways to stay healthy in LA:

  • Get physical - There are plenty of ways to get physical around LA. You can get out of the busy city and head over to one of hundred stunning hiking spots scattered around LA county.  LA also has some of the best beaches in the world, a go-to place for a ton of activities, like surfing, open water swimming, or even a jog across the sand.
  • Healthy Eating - eating healthy, doesn’t always have to be in your own kitchen. Take advantage of the LA restaurants that take healthy eating to a fun new level. Honey Hi, The Butcher's Daughter, and Wild Living Foods all have nutritions and healthy menus.
  • The Yoga craze - Center your body, mind, and soul by shaking a shot at yoga! Time Out helps you find free (and almost free) yoga classes in Los Angeles. Learn to body bend without breaking the bank.
  • Hit up a farmer’s market - local markets are a great way to beat the growing prices at groceries stores for veggies and fruits. Stock up on your fridge all while supporting local agriculture. The LA Times mapped out farmer's markets in and around LA County.

Living a healthy lifestyle has multiple moving parts: eating right, exercising, and good mental health all play key roles in the current and future health of your body. In a society where the rates of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and other chronic diseases are at an all-time high, it is important to remember that most of these diagnoses can be prevented.

Because these chronic diseases are all preventable, it is extremely important to jump on the healthy bandwagon as soon as possible. A good diet now may prevent a hefty treatment plan in the future.

Nutritionists hold the knowledge to help individuals reach their full health potential. Starting with simple consultation from a qualified dietician can be just the right push for a new healthier chapter in your life.

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