Pro Tips for National Nutrition Month
BY: Francesca Zani, AOS Culinary
March is National Nutrition Month. It is very difficult to focus on diets and healthy eating habits when life is constantly moving. Most people know what basic nutrition entails; fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, dairy, and plenty of water. Physical therapist Dr. Justin Feldman, offers his patients advice on how to control nutrition in situations where physical health is concerned. Dr. Feldman is one of the Hudson Valley’s most popular physical therapists. He has offices located in Lagrange and Fishkill, and continues to use a number of techniques to help heal his patients. Feldman graduated from Ithaca College and then went on to further his work in the field. Throughout his career, he often came upon misleading information about nutrition and wanted to know the true facts. After taking online classes, Dr. Feldman received certification as a nutrition coach through Precision Nutrition. The program gave him the expertise to educate his patients in sports nutrition, without having to become a dietitian. He works with five to seven patients each day, seeing them once per week for an hour as opposed to two or three times weekly. Many of his patients are between the ages of twenty and sixty – “the weekend athletes”. His client programs are focused on manual therapy, nutrition and exercise.
Just a quick reminder of the basic nutritional guidelines we must follow daily according to the My Plate government guidelines; two to three cups of vegetables, one to two cups of fruit, five to six ounces of protein, three cups of dairy, five to eight ounces of grains. These serving sizes may slightly change depending on the age group. Along with proper nutrition, we must drink plenty of water per day, which is challenging for many. “The nutrition each patient needs will help speed up their recovery,” notes Feldman. He spoke of athletes who get injured, avoid activity for weeks, gain weight, and have a difficult time getting back into their routine once recovered due to lack of nutrition. Active or not, this idea reveals how important it is to stay in tune with a nutritious diet.
Dr. Feldman noted that inflammatory foods can and will slow down the progression to healing. According to a Harvard Health Publication, examples of inflammatory foods include refined white flour, sugar products, fried foods, sodas and drinks with added sugar, processed meat and cheeses, and margarine. “What we should consume more of,” adds Dr. Feldman, “are avocados, fish oil, olive oil, tart cherry juice, beets, and turmeric, which decrease inflammation.” During our interview, I asked Dr. Feldman if he had any healthy protein shake recipes. I discovered Feldman is not an advocate for powdered protein shakes and would rather see patients eating locally sourced food, whole fruits, and veggies. While clients are rehabilitating he offers them a challenge – “Try to go as many days in a row where you consume fourteen fruits and vegetables.” This is a health effort we all should seek in our lives!
Dr. Justin Feldman has many years of practice in sports therapy and nutrition. If you are interested in finding a center for physical therapy, he is the person you should consider visiting.