Consistency is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As we can probably all attest, eating “really well” for 5 days in a row (while it is a great start!) does not mean you will have lost that post-vacation weight or solved your pre-existing health conditions.
How does one go from struggling to maintain a healthy diet to living a daily healthy lifestyle? For many of us, it is too much to chew at once.
Healthy Gourmet was fortunate enough to chat with Moe Schlachter, Registered and Licensed Nutritionist and Founder of Houston Family Nutrition. Moe’s goal when working with clients is to make sure they develop healthy habits. This goes beyond just exercising and making sure they choose the right foods at the grocery store, it is about making sure these healthy choices stick around for good.
Founder of Houston Family Nutrition
Registered and Licensed Dietitian
Healthy Gourmet Healthy Chat with Moe Schlachter
My name is Moe I’m a registered dietitian with Houston Family Nutrition.
HG: Do you have a diet philosophy?
Moe Schlachter: One, cover your bases so make sure that even if you’re tempted by things that you feel are not as healthy for you do what you can to cover your nutrition bases first. So make sure that throughout the day you’re at least hitting your nutrient targets you know you’re getting enough water in you’re getting your fruits and veggies and if you come up against something that’s a little bit, you know, tempting or something that you feel like you shouldn’t have too much of. You know you can kind of deal with that separately but I like clients to at least focus on getting enough nutrition throughout the day and usually, that helps either build momentum to make a better decision or it helps them kind of feel less hungry in the moment.
We’ll put enough of those small behaviors together and they’re all going to contribute to a bigger, greater success.
HG: What are some crazy diet myths that your clients have brought to you?
Moe Schlachter: You know the idea that eating healthy really, you know, takes a lot of money or costs more than just kind of eating a regular diet that you don’t think of and across-the-board you know I’ve seen with my clients is it’s absolutely not true so you can eat really really well, really shop at the same places even save some money and eat a little healthier. It doesn’t take any special food, it just takes some careful planning, it takes identification of which foods do the most for you, gives you the most bang for your buck on the financial side, but also on the nutrition side. Shopping around, of course, the produce aisle, getting frozen fruits and veggies that might last a little bit longer can save you some money. Finding a whole grain bread or shopping the sales, there really isn’t anything to say that healthy food has to be more expensive, it just takes understanding of your environment.
HG: How do you feel about “cheat meals”?
Moe Schlachter: I really like the idea of a cheat meal what it’s trying to achieve because it helps someone plan for those indulgences right? It helps them kind of work it into their week so that if they come up against something maybe on a Sunday and they plan to have an indulgent meal on a Tuesday it’ll help them kind of hold off and delay that gratification which can be all the difference in sticking to a nutrition plan.
HG: What factors go into building a nutrition plan?
Moe Schlachter: We’ll want to take a look at everything there is to know about the environment that they’re in, the time that they have, the resources that they have, and then build a plan that’s gonna work for them. It was like you said there really is no one-size-fits-all which is another reason why some of the commercial diets you know fall short for a large majority of people. So we want to make sure that whatever plan we put in place it’s gonna be possible for, of course, the client to not only get it done but to stick with it comfortably.
HG: What makes your approach different?
Moe Schlachter: So when I’m working with a client you know we’ll want to hone in on three or four specific behaviors per session that we can work on right now so it’s not going to be a big comprehensive plan where it’s gonna be, you know you got to eat these foods three times a day, you’ve got to go to the gym five times a week, we’re gonna hone in on three or four things that you can get done, kind of build up a mastery of those skills or behaviors and once you nail them down then we can move on to something else and over time we’ll put enough of those small behaviors together and they’re all going to contribute to a bigger, you know, greater success.
Moe talks about a healthy lifestyle as a collection of individual skills that one can master. I personally like the RPG-video game imagery that brings to mind. For example, smart grocery shopping is a skill that, when combined with healthy meal prepping and cooking, will give you +10 vitality. Okay, that is way too nerdy to admit to publicly, but whatever works to keep you motivated!
Healthy Gourmet is here to aid in the development of your healthy eating habits. Our prepared meals save you time shopping at the store, planning and cooking meals. Our prepared meals are hassle-free, perfectly portioned, and created to cover your nutritional bases. One more key to upgrading and maintaining your healthy eating skills: it has to taste good too.