Kerry: My mom planned family meals with each food category and on a budget. I thought everyone’s mom packed lunch with a fruit, veggie, protein, carb, and treat. Also, my grandfather passed away from heart disease. When I was in high school, my doctor told me to remember my family history! At Purdue, I turned into a total nerd for nutrition. I was lucky enough to study Sustainable Food Systems in Italy on quality and healthful foods. I knew I’d found my passion.
Meghan: I was also the girl lucky enough to have her mom pack her lunch. While my friends ate burgers and fries, I had julienne salads and fruit! But I never knew I wanted to be a dietitian. I just knew I liked helping people. I went to college to be a therapist, but I took nutrition classes and a light bulb went on. Years later, I still love it!
Meghan: I love living a healthy lifestyle. It isn’t just about eating well, but being active, too. I’m not an athlete. In fact, I have no hand-eye coordination, but I enjoy the feeling I get after a workout and I feel better when I eat a well-rounded meal.
Kerry: Also, it’s rewarding to make a difference in someone’s life, like if they try a new veggie or feel more energetic.
Kerry: Don’t try to be perfect. We can fall into the all-or-nothing phenomenon. Just take first steps. Try a new veggie, serve a new meal, or try a new activity with friends.
Meghan: It can be hard to look at the big picture, so start small. Look at your plate. Half should be fruits and veggies, a fourth lean protein, and a fourth complex carbs, mainly whole grains. Master this, then try new foods—but stick to fresh foods and limit processed ones.
Kerry: It’s not always easy. Food is everywhere! A Cornell study found that we make over 200 food- related decisions per day. I always go back to the idea that something is better than nothing. It’s never too late to make just one better choice!
Meghan: Ha ha. I always tell people that dietitians are humans, too! I admit I love pizza and desserts—especially lemon bars or pie—but as long as I’m eating well-balanced meals most of the time, then I am on the right track. I don’t like to think of foods as being good or bad. It’s all about moderation.
Kerry: My favorite thing is ice cream. My sister once told me whenever she thinks I eat too healthy, she will serve me ice cream because she knows I can’t resist. It’s true. My favorite is a two-scoop sundae with Reese’s and raspberries. It’s guilt-free if it’s just once in awhile.
Meghan: I think taking a few cooking classes or even getting a culinary degree might be fun.
Kerry: Next on my list is to finish another marathon and eventually qualify for Boston—is that too much?