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Ask the Expert: Rethinking nutrition with Constance Brown-Riggs

The challenge of eating healthy is ongoing for the majority of us. However, there are lots of things we can do to enjoy our meals while still getting the nutrients we need. LifeSpeak expert and award-winning registered dietitian Constance Brown-Riggs joined our Ask the Expert webchat this week to explain how. Constance is an award-winning registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator, and former spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic. Constance is also the author of The Diabetes Guide to Enjoying Foods of the World, Eating Soulfully and Healthfully with Diabetes and The African American Guide to Living Well With Diabetes, the latter of which received a ‘Favorably Reviewed’ designation from the American Association of Diabetes Educators.

Here are the highlights from our webchat with Constance Brown-Riggs. Please keep in mind all user participation is anonymous.

Fighting temptations

QUESTION — “What is your advice on healthy alternatives to the typical stress-eating options (ice cream, comfort food)?”

Constance Brown-Riggs — “Sometimes foods like ice cream, cookies, and candy can actually make you crave more food. Instead, try putting Greek yogurt in the freezer for about an hour to get the crystals; that’s a great alternative to ice cream. Also, if you like more crunchy things, you can make your own chips with sweet potatoes. Give yourself permission to have comfort food, but watch the portion size.”

Eating to improve mental health

QUESTION — “What are some simple changes we can make to our diet that helps us to manage stress and anxiety right now?”

Constance Brown-Riggs — “Eat a variety of foods and avoid alcohol. Alcohol is the worst thing you can do for your immune system. During these stressful times, we want to do everything we can to support our immune system. So making sure we’re getting adequate sleep, exercise on a regular basis, and be sure to get in plenty of fruits and vegetables, and stay hydrated.”

Intermittent fasting

QUESTION — “I have heard a lot about intermittent fasting. Would you recommend it, and if so, should you start gradually?”

Constance Brown-Riggs — “Intermittent fasting can be helpful, however it is not for everyone. It does require a little discipline. I would recommend trying what’s called ‘Time Restricted Feeding’, and that would give yourself an 8-hour window to eat, and then fast for the remaining time. An example would be maybe you eat from 11am-7pm, and fast overnight. That’s one of the easiest ways to do intermittent fasting.”

Don’t miss our next Ask the Expert session!

If you weren’t able to catch our webchat with Constance Brown-Riggs, you can always sign in to your LifeSpeak account to read the transcript. And be sure to log on April 22nd at 1PM EST to chat with financial experts Shannon Lee Simmons and Bob Gavlak, who will be answering your questions about managing your money in times of uncertainty. If you don’t have a LifeSpeak account, please have your HR team reach out to us about your company subscribing.

What is Ask the Expert?

Our Ask the Expert sessions allow our users to have regular access to our experts in real-time, which allows them to have their pressing questions answered. This opportunity provides our users with practical and easily implemented tips to help them make real changes in their lives. To learn more, don’t hesitate to book a walk-through.