On Thursday, May 21, 2020, Ha Nguyen, a registered dietitian and the owner and founder of Yummy Body Nutrition, joined the Young Professionals Council to share her thoughts on nutrition and physical well-being, providing tips on how to stock your pantry, manage eating and snacking habits at home, and more.

Nguyen founded her practice on the core beliefs that food can change lives and everyone should have access to credible nutrition information. Her practice eliminates virtually any barrier to getting the support people need, which is why the company partners with doctors, accepts insurance, offers flexible evening and weekend hours, and provides several different meeting locations and methods, including virtual sessions. Yummy Body Nutrition’s mission is to help people live healthier and happier lives.

To shed some light on how you can boost your nutrition at home, Nguyen broke her tips down based on what you can do during the day, when cooking dinner, while grocery shopping, and when you’re craving a snack.

1. Set meal times.

Set yourself up for success by planning out a daily routine and don’t feel guilty about setting an away message via your email to ensure you take time for lunch and stick to your schedule.

2. Stay hydrated.

Keep a water bottle filled and close by and try to aim for 64 ounces or 8 cups of water daily. Nguyen keeps a 32-ounce water bottle on hand to help her stay on track. She noted that many don’t know that thirst can cause mental fatigue, and could be the reason why you’re so tired, so be sure to drink up.

3. Set up a work station away from the kitchen.

Nguyen acknowledged that this can be challenging for people in the city who often live in small spaces, but working as far away from the kitchen as possible can help eliminate mindless eating. Getting far enough away from the pantry reduces the temptation to snack.

1. Remember there are some benefits to cooking at home (even though many of us miss eating out).

Just remember that you’re saving money, staying healthy by not risking exposure to COVID-19, learning new skills in the kitchen, and flexing your creative muscles.

2. Be prepared.

Pre-wash and pre-cut fruits and vegetables at the beginning of the week. It saves time during weeknights and limits the number of times you need to get out the cutting board and wash dishes.

3. Clean as you go.

While your food is cooking or sauce simmering, start putting dishes in the dishwasher. That way, when you sit down to enjoy your food, you can relax knowing a tower of dishes isn’t waiting for you in the sink.

4. Make enough dinner (double the recipe) for lunch leftovers.

Portion dinner leftovers into food containers as if you were bringing them to the office so you’re not scrambling to figure out and make new lunches everyday.

5. Make what you crave.

If you love pizza, pasta, and tacos, make them. Those kinds of foods are much healthier at home versus as takeout. There’s likely less salt, less oil, less fat, and less calories. Nguyen noted that we shouldn’t be afraid of comfort foods right now; indulging every now and then can prevent binges for greasy takeout later.

6. Make half of your plate fruits and/or vegetables.

Having a balanced dinner is key to boosting your vitamin, mineral, and fiber intake.

1. Make a list/plan ahead.

Having a list on hand can help you stay stay focused and keep you from buying too much or not enough.

2. Don’t be afraid to buy frozen fruits and vegetables.

According to Nguyen, oftentimes frozen produce is just as good as fresh produce. It’s typically flash frozen at peak ripeness, whereas some fresh produce could have been sitting in containers well past its prime.

3. Read the portions on food labels.

Following serving sizes can help to not only control weight, but also help with meal planning and knowing how much to buy.

4. Be flexible.

So your favorite brand of almond milk is out of stock? Just find a substitution. Try something new.

1. Snacking should serve a purpose.

What snacking should be:

  • Fuel for your body if your doing physical activity (for example, before a workout)
  • A way to bridge nutritional gaps in your diet (If you don’t get enough fruit; an apple or banana is a good choice.)
  • A way to settle you if you are truly ravenous or “hangry” before your next meal
  • Something to hold you over if you have to wait longer than usual for your next meal (maybe you have a meeting at your usual lunch break)

What snacking should not be:

  • A pastime
  • Mindless consumption
  • An activity when you’re emotional or just bored
  • Something you do even when you’re not even hungry

To get more nutrition tips, visit yummybodynutrition.com or follow the company on Instagram at @yummybodynutrition. You can also connect with Nguyen on LinkedIn.

Coming Up

[Virtual] Meet this Year’s YPC Spotlight Award Honorees
Thursday, June 18, 2020 | 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. | Exclusive to YPC Members

Although we’re not able to celebrate in person this year, we’re excited to honor three young professionals paving the way for Greater Philadelphia’s future success and growth. Join us to get to know the honorees and get insight into their professional and personal paths, including their approaches to leadership, development, networking, and volunteerism.